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