Fast Recipes

Tomato and fennel clams with saffron mayonnaise

Delicate clams are the winner in this dish with dollops of rich saffron mayonnaise. Mop everything up with a crispy baguette.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 4
Tomato and fennel clams with saffron mayonnaise
Tomato and fennel clams with saffron mayonnaise

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)


  • 1
    Combine mayonnaise, saffron and lemon rind in a bowl, and refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    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.