Sautéed Clams with Fennel & Cannellini Beans

I got this recipe from Bon Appétit and took the liberty of renaming it as: Sautéed Clams with Fennel & Cannellini Beans. It was originally called "Clams in White Bean Sauce." But the cannellini beans are sautéed with the clams, so it's not really a "sauce," per se. And the presence of fennel is definitely pronounced, which I feel deserves recognition. What can I say, I'm a stickler for accuracy. Anyway, the reason why I'm posting it is because it's one of those easy, elegant dishes that you can easily whip up for a weeknight–or date night–dinner. Definitely worth sharing.

*Half of the fennel is finely chopped and sautéed with the beans; the other half is thinly sliced and made into a salad to garnish the dish. I took the pic before garnishing, hence, no fennel in my pic.


Adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 4

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or other medium white beans, rinsed
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 fennel bulb
3 garlic cloves
1 sprig rosemary
1 lemon
Handful of parsley leaves
36 littleneck or Manila clams, scrubbed
4 thick slices country-style bread, toasted

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1. Toss beans in a medium bowl with a drizzle of oil; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Halve fennel and remove fronds (don’t toss the fronds!). Thinly slice one half of fennel and transfer to a medium bowl along with fronds. Place a damp paper towel directly on fennel to help prevent browning and set aside. Finely chop remaining half of fennel, then thinly slice garlic.

3. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add chopped fennel, garlic, and rosemary sprig and cook, stirring often, until fennel is translucent and tender but still has some bite, about 5 minutes.

4. While that’s happening, remove 2 wide strips of zest from lemon with a vegetable peeler. Halve lemon and pick out seeds. Coarsely chop parsley.

5. Add clams and lemon zest to pot, squeeze in juice from a lemon half, cover pot, and cook until some clams start to open, 5–7 minutes. Toss and stir clams; use a slotted spoon to transfer any open ones to a medium bowl. Cover pot and cook until remaining clams open, checking sporadically and transferring them to bowl as they are done, 7–9 minutes; discard any clams that don’t open. Add reserved seasoned beans to pot and stir to combine; loosen sauce with water if it looks too tight. Return clams to pot, add half of parsley, and toss well.

6. Add remaining parsley to bowl with reserved sliced fennel and squeeze remaining lemon half over. Season fennel-herb salad with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Drizzle with a very small amount of oil and toss again.

7. Serve clams topped with salad and toasted bread for dipping into sauce.

*A @singlegirldin tip: Try sprinkling some aleppo pepper on top!