Grilling clams is easy. The important part is making sure you let as little of their juice as possible escape.
- 12 medium-sized clams
- + a squeeze of fresh lemon
- 1 clove garlic, sliced (not paper thin) held in 3 ounces extra-virgin olive oil (a lighter bodied “extra-virgin,” not a super green one)
- 1/2 t parsley, finely chopped
- + wood for grilling, cooked down to embers
- + oval metal platter
- + fine mesh strainer
Prepare your wood, then prepare your clams. Scrub them clean and soak them in salty water for half an hour to allow them to purge any sand from inside their shells.
Place the clams directly on the grill, with their flatter sides facing up. Set the grate so that it is only about two inches away from the embers. Cover the clams with a deep heatproof pan, and let cook for 4–6 minutes.
Remove the clams from the grill one by one as each shell opens completely, conserving as much of the liquor in the bottom shell as possible. Set the clams on the metal platter, pouring their liquor out onto the platter. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, but not directly onto or over the clams. Set a serving bowl in the oven or on the grill to heat it up.
Make your sauce: Combine the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over high heat. When the garlic is sizzling but not toasted, use a ladle to drizzle the sizzling oil onto the platter and the clams. Remove the clams to the hot serving bowl.
To finish: Quickly rub the fine mesh strainer back and forth against the platter like a whisk for 5–10 seconds to help emulsify the clam and lemon juices with the olive oil. Pour the sauce back through the strainer onto the clams. Garnish with a very small amount of chopped parsley. Serve immediately.