Local Clams Steamed in Sauvignon Blanc

Nothing says “Summer” to me like Clams steamed in dry white wine, garlic, herbs and spices… especially when camping at the beach, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay! This is so easy you can do it in one pot, or even no pot if you fashion a bowl out of foil and fold the top tightly to steam!

You will want some crusty bread, or in this case pretzel rolls to sop up the savory broth.

Many people may deem my 1st step unnecessary, but since I discovered this purging trick in an old Italian cookbook a few years back, I’m sold!


  • 2 dozen little neck clams
  • 1/4 cup dry white white
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons shredded basil
  • Few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Step #1 Clean and Purge Clams:

  1. Rinse your clams very well under cold water.
  2. Combine 4 cups of cold water and 2 tablespoons of sea salt into a shallow dish or pan. I like to use a glass or ceramic rectangular baking pan. Mix gently with a whisk to dissolve the salt.
  3. Add your rinsed clams to the salted water and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Fresh clams will bubble, and spew grit and dirty bits.
  4. Remove clams and give them another quick rinse under cold water. Your clams are now cleaned, purged, and ready to cook!


  1. Combine wine, garlic, basil, pepper, and butter inthe bottom of a wide pan that has a tight lid.
  2. Squeeze and drop in 2 or 3 slices of lemon.
  3. Add your cleaned and purged clams and cover.
  4. Cook over medium high heat until all clams are steamed open and cooked.
  5. Ladle clams and broth into serving bowls, and garnish with lemon slices.
  6. Serve with lots of crusty bread or pretzel rolls for soaking up the savory broth!

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