Portuguese Cockles

cuisine Portuguese
difficulty Simple
season Year Round
serves 4

Ingredients

8 minced garlic cloves 1 tablespoon1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon1 teaspoon sea salt 1 bottle Vinho Verde wine 4 pounds live cockles 1 large bunch cilantro, finely chopped 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions

  1. In a large colander, run cold water over the cockles for several minutes to remove sand. Scrub them carefully with a clean sponge to eliminate any algae or dirt on the shells. Throw out any opened cockles.
  2. Heat a large DUTCH OVEN over medium heat, add the olive oil and then the garlic. Heat the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine, salt, and washed cockles. Turn the heat to high and lower the heat to medium once the the wine begins to bubble.
  3. Simmer the cockles until open, generally 5 to 7 minutes. Discard any cockles that remain closed.
  4. Serve the cockles with the poaching liquid. Sprinkle cilantro over them juste before servine. Pass the lemon wedges.

Kitchen Notes

Cockles are tiny mollusks, buy 1 pound per person for a small plate and 1.5 to 2 pounds per person for a large plate. A sancerre or Greek Assyrtiko are unoaked, dry wines that pair well with cockles.