A few years ago I was lucky enough to travel to Spain with my family. It was a wonderful trip, and one of the highlights was attending a cooking class in Barcelona. When I told our instructor some of my dietary restrictions (particularly nightshades), she looked at me and said, "Honey, you came to the wrong country."
She had a point. Who goes to Spain and expects to avoid tomatoes?
We prepared a number of recipes that day (and only one had tomatoes in it!), but my favorite, and the one I have prepared many times since returning home, is this recipe for clams in green sauce. The original recipe did call for heating up the oil with a cayenne pepper, but it was easy to remove (or incorporate back in, if you're nightshade tolerant). I made up for the spice by increasing the garlic. It's a delicious, fast, and easy to make. I often serve it as a hearty dinner for my partner and I with a paleo-friendly crusty bread (this recipe is great if you can eat nuts and eggs, or you can use this AIP-compliant recipe. It also works great as a side dish if you're doing a family style, surf-and-turf meal.
Nutritional bonus: Clams are a great source of vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, selenium, and zinc. Watercress is rich in vitamin K, calcium, and potassium. Garlic is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, selenium, and garlic. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory, good for the heart, and a good source of vitamins E and K.
Clams in Green Sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 as an entree, 4 as a side
1/2 C + 3T Olive oil
5-6 Cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C Parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 C Watercress, roughly chopped
1t sea salt
3T lemon juice, or you can use 1/2 C dry white wine if tolerated
1 lb clams
1. Make sure that you inspect your clams when you purchase them. They should not be open or have any chips in the shells. When you bring them home, discard any that have opened and place the rest in a bowl, cover them with a damp towel, and place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook.
2. Combine the parsley, watercress, 1/2 C olive oil, and salt in a food processor and pulse until they are combined.
3. Heat up a pan over medium heat. Add 3T olive oil and cook the garlic until it is fragrant.
4. Add the parsley and watercress mix to the pan and cook for a few minutes.
5. Add the clams and lemon juice or wine. Cover the pan and let cook for several minutes, until all the clams are open. Discard of any clams that do not open.
6. Serve and enjoy! Don't forget to leave out an extra bowl for discarded shells.
Andrea Lane is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and certified Pilates and GYROTONIC(r) instructor in Portland, Oregon. Her practice particularly focuses on treating autoimmune disease, reproductive health, and pediatrics. She is passionate about maintaining good health through a whole-food diet, mindful movement, and meditation. When she is not working, she loves to cook, listen to podcasts, read her way out from under the small mountain of books she's accumulated, and cater to her cats' every whim.