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Littleneck Clams with Cilantro-Black Walnut Pesto

Yield 20 appetizer servings


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup black walnuts
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 40 Littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • Garnish: chopped pimiento

How to Make It

  1. Process first 8 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth; set pesto aside.

  2. Bring wine, chopped garlic, and shallot to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add clams, and cook 5 minutes or until clams open. Drain and cool.

  3. Remove clams from shells, reserving 40 half shells. Chill clams at least 1 hour.

  4. Stir pesto into clams; spoon 1 clam and pesto into each reserved shell. Garnish, if desired.