Thai Basil Mussels and Clams

By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.

Mussels and clams on the grill together is one of my favorite summer dishes, but on rainy days it’s just as delicious to throw them in a big pot.

What you’ll need:
2 lbs PEI mussels
3 dozen middle neck clams
10 chopped Campari tomatoes
4 cups hot water
1 tsp seafood stock
1 cup white wine
2 chopped shallots
6 chopped and peeled gloves fresh garlic
1/3 cup chopped Thai basil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Red pepper flakes

Start by pouring the olive oil into a large pot and turn the burner on moderate heat.

Add in the shallots and garlic next. When the shallots and garlic are translucent, add in the tomatoes and simmer. Stir while it simmers to further break up the tomatoes. After 6-8 minutes, pour in the wine and let it simmer until it cooks down to about half of the volume of what is currently in the pot. Stir and turn up the heat just a little. After another 3 minutes, add in the seafood stock and turn the heat up to high.

Once it begins to boil, add in the clams and mussels. Stir the shellfish in a bit and then cook covered on high heat until the shells open. Add the Thai basil and red pepper flakes to taste and stir just before serving.

Be sure to discard any unopened shells. Serve with a side of bread—you’ll want to soak up the sauce.

What makes this dish unique is the licorice-like aftertaste Thai basil leaves on the palate. If you can’t find Thai basil in a local market or you don’t grow your own, you can substitute it with fennel or regular basil.