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Warm salad of clams, mussels and squid

message posted 23-Jun-08 09:53:17
Serves 4

50g unsalted butter
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
6 handfuls of mussels
6 handfuls of surf clams and/or palourdes
6 razor clams (optional)
400g squid, cleaned by an obliging fishmonger
50ml white wine
1 lemon
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil, for frying

Place the butter in a large pan and gently melt over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until softened, without colouring, for about 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, beard the mussels by pulling away the little black tuft found where the shells are clamped tightly shut. Set the mussels in a vessel under cold running water for at least 20 minutes any shells that remain open should be discarded. Place the clams and razor clams (if using) in a bowl and do likewise.

Slit the squid lengthways and rinse under the tap to wash away any grit. Use a sharp knife to score it all over and then cut into 3cm strips.

Drain the shellfish. Tip the mussels into the pan along with the white wine, bring to the boil and cover. When they have steamed open after 4-5 minutes, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place to one side. Next, tip in the clams.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove in the same way as the mussels, to be replaced by the razor clams, which also require 3-4 minutes to steam open.

Remove the razor clams and place on a chopping board. Pull the razor clams from the shells and remove the dark grey part (the stomach, roughly in the middle of the length of the clam). Carefully wash the rest free of grit. Chop into quite thin slices.

Cut the lemon in two, and squeeze the juice into the pot containing the remaining cooking liquor. Add the parsley and several grinds of the pepper mill, then stir well.

Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Dress the squid in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Add a small handful of squid to the hot pan and fry for a minute or two only. Tip into the shellfish pot. Wipe the frying pan with some kitchen towel, then repeat the process until all the squid is cooked.

Lay all the clams and mussels on a handsome dish, strew the razor clams over the shellfish, then add the squid and the dressing from the pan. A few spoonfuls of good olive oil is a lovely addition before serving.

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