Clam Escabeche

Escabeches are quite popular in Mediterranean

countries and Latin America. They most likely

developed due to an absence of refrigeration

in a hot climate and the method made it possible

to prepare an oil and vinegar marinade that served

to preserve for a time, as well as to infuse flavor.

We often use blanched vegetables in a simple

escabeche as a relish with meat. This one is a

favorite appetizer that can incorporate fresh

clams, or by necessity, canned baby clams.

Serve with sliced, toasted french bread.

2 ten ounce cans of baby clams (or a pound of cooked clams)

½ cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of fresh garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

3 tablespoons of red bell pepper, chopped

¼ cup of white vinegar

½ teaspoon of green peppercorns

½ teaspoon of fresh rosemary leaves

½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf, crushed

Sea salt to taste

Drain clams and submerge in two cups of salted ice

water for thirty minutes. Drain once more and place

on a clean dry towel. Pour the olive oil into a large

saute pan and add the garlic, lemon, bell pepper,

and spices. Simmer until the garlic is transparent

and add the vinegar and clams. Bring to a simmer

and remove from the heat. When the pan cools,

move to a glass or earthenware serving dish. There

should be sufficient olive oil to immerse the clams

about halfway. If not, add more. Refrigerate for a

day if possible. Let the clam escabeche come to room

temperature before serving.

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