Markets classify hard clams by size. Littleneck clams, the smallest, under 2 inches, are named for Little Neck Bay off Long Island Sound, New York. The smaller clams, littleneck and cherrystones, are firm but tender with a mild flavor.
Clams may be bought in the shell or shucked. Those in the shell should be heavy and tightly closed, or should close when tapped lightly. They should have a pleasant, briny odor. Discard any with open or broken shells.
Scrub clams thoroughly under cold, running water. Open and discard top shell. Place clams on the half shell in a thick bed of rock salt in a cooking pan. This will keep them level so that no broth is lost.
In a small bowl, mix oil, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan and garlic. Drizzle clams with mixture. Broil about 4 inch from heat until cheese melts and clams are done, about 6 to 8 minutes. Top with parsley and remaining cheese. Serves 6.
From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas
Contributed by Joyce Taylor