Swiss Chard with Clams and Chili
Chef's Notes: Is this a way to get some seafood with your leafy greens, or some leafy greens with your seafood? Either way, Zakary Pelaccio's clever match-up of Swiss chard with briny clams, spicy serrano chilies, and a trio of Asian sauces is the kind of side dish you'll want on your table all year round.
Clams, part 1: Before you cook clams, you need to purge them of grit and sand. Place clams in a bowl and fill with cold water. Let rest in the refrigerator, 4 hours.
In a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, add half the grapeseed oil, followed by shallots, garlic, and chilies. Stir to coat, then sweat until translucent, 1–1½ minutes. Pour in wine and boil to cook off alcohol, 30 seconds. Carefully lift clams from the water, making sure to leave any grit behind in the bowl. Add clams to pot. Cover and steam, checking after 3–5 minutes to see if they've opened.
Chard, part 1: Remove the center stems by cutting down the sides. Roughly cut the leaves into big pieces and reserve a few stems (save the rest for another dish, such as Amanda Cohen's Rainbow Stir-Fry). Set aside.
Clams, part 2: After 3–5 minutes, check the clams, giving them a shake and a stir to coax them open. Cover again and continue cooking until all are open, 2–3 minutes. Remove clams, discarding any unopened ones, and save liquid. When cool enough to handle, take clams out of their shells, keeping a few in for garnish. Set aside.
Chard, part 2: Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add remaining grapeseed oil, followed by chard stems and leaves. Toss quickly, then pour in ¼ cup clam cooking liquid. Remove from heat and continue tossing. The chard should not be cooked down, only slightly wilted. (Note: If the leaves are really voluminous, you may need to do this in 2 batches.)
Assembly: Combine the clams with the remaining chard liquid, a few tablespoons of clam broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss and spoon over wilted chard. Garnish with the clams still in their shells, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
Skills you'll learn