Beer-steamed Clams with Ramp and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Here's another delicious dish I made with ingredients I purchased at the Union Square Greenmarket. Once again it's being featured by The Feed Feed on its Grow NYC page. As mentioned on my last post, the page promotes green market eating, and recipes are shared within the community who shops at the green markets. The following are vendors from the Union Square Greenmarket I visited to make this dish: Clams from Blue Moon Fish. Ramps from Berried Treasures Farm. Demi baguette from Bread Alone.

Thanks to all the vendors for the wonderfully fresh and local ingredients you provide us, but I want to give a special thank you to Franca Tantillo of Berried Treasures Farm. Aside from always being there to make suggestions and answer questions about her delicious products, she is such a sweet person. As a fan of ramps, I keep going back to Berried Treasures to get more. When I was there last week, I didn't have enough cash and the lovely Franca told me not to worry, she'll get me the next time. I was embarrassed, but so thankful she trusted me enough to let me walk away without paying. She told me she'll see me next week, and of course she did.

Other than getting my hands on as many ramps as possible while the season is ending, I've also been craving fish and seafood as the weather gets warmer. I love shell fish especially clams. I remember when I was a teenager; my mom and I would eat dozens and dozens of raw cherry stone clams from Randazzos in Brooklyn. I couldn't get enough of them, always fresh and delicious. In addition to being delicious, clams are probably one of the easiest things to cook so it makes a good week day meal too. The most important part is to make sure they are clean. There are many ways to cook them, but this time I decided to steam them with beer since I happen to have a couple of bottles in the fridge. If you don't have beer, you could use wine or stock. I also have some leftover ramp sauce and goat cheese in my fridge so I decided to do a ramp and goat cheese bruschetta, but you could easily serve this with some garlic toast.

Beer-steamed Clams with Ramp and Goat Cheese Bruschetta - Serves two
2 dozen of little neck clams
1 bottle of pale ale
3-4 cloves or crushed garlic 
1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. of olive oil 
1 tbsp. of cold unsalted butter

Soak clams in cold water for at least 1/2 hour to an hour prior to cooking. Change the water a couple of times during soaking. Scrub each clam individually with a brush and rinse thoroughly; then set aside. Heat a large pot with lid, once the pot is heated add olive oil, sauté the crushed garlic until fragrant, add red pepper flakes, then clams and beer. Cover the lid until liquid comes to a boil, about five minute open lid keep it at a rolling boil until the clam starts opening. Take each one out as they open some will open sooner, be patient; but if there is any unopened one, be sure to toss those out. Reduce liquid in half, swirl in cold butter and spoon on top of the clams. Serve with garlic toast or the ramp and goat cheese bruschetta (recipe below).

Ramp and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
1/4 cup of ramp sauce (see recipe for the ramp sauce in my previous post)
2 ounces of softened goat cheese
1 demi baguette cut in 3/4 inch slices

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the ramp sauce with the soften goat cheese, spread onto the baguette slices and toast for a few minutes in the oven then serve with the clams. 

This recipe is super quick and easy. It's great to have it during the week, and also great for entertaining too. Enjoy!

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