Tomato and fennel clams with saffron mayonnaise

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

Rinse the clams well to remove grit and sand. Factor in the clams, too, when seasoning the dish - they're naturally briny.

  • 150 gm mayonnaise
  • 1/8 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 1 tbsp warm water for about 10 minutes
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 400 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 kg pre-soaked clams, rinsed well
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 20 gm butter, diced
  • Baguette, to serve (optional)
01   Combine mayonnaise, saffron and lemon rind in a bowl, and refrigerate until required.
02   Heat 40ml olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add garlic, shallot and half the fennel and sauté until tender (3-4 minutes). Increase heat to medium-high, add tomatoes and cook until skins soften (1-2 minutes). Increase heat to high, add clams, wine and chilli flakes, cover and steam, shaking pan occasionally, until clams open (3-4 minutes). Stir in butter, cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, combine remaining fennel, lemon juice and remaining oil in a bowl and season to taste. Top clams with fennel salad and fronds and serve with saffron mayonnaise and baguette.
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