To hold the clams in one layer in the sauce, you’ll need the equivalent of one medium (10-inch) and one small (8-inch) cast iron pan. You could use a paella pan or enameled cast iron baking dishes. Also, Le Roux in Vineyard Haven has a large selection of cast iron pans for the grill, including a Lodge combo cooker set that would be perfect for this. Use this recipe as a guideline and don’t be afraid to vary amounts to suit what you’ve got. 

Serves 2

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for bread
  • ¼ cup diced prosciutto, pancetta, bacon, or chorizo
  • 2  to 2 ½ cups very thinly sliced aromatic vegetables (any combination of onions, fennel,  bell peppers, or sturdy greens)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ pounds beefsteak tomatoes, cored and cut into large dice (or chopped roughly)
  • 2  tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red chile pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed (about 24 clams)
  • ¼ cup white wine mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Chopped or torn fresh basil, parsley or mint to serve
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 4 thick slices good bread


1. Heat a gas grill on medium high or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire.

2. When the grill is hot, put two cast-iron frying pans or other fire-proof  shallow vessels on the grill. Cover and let the pans heat for 5 minutes. Divide the 3 tablespoons olive oil between the two pans.

3. When the oil is hot, add the prosciutto and cook, stirring, until lightly brown.

4. Add the sliced veggies and season with salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are wilted and starting to brown. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have released their juices and are beginning to thicken up a bit.

5. Arrange the clams in one layer in the pans and pour the wine-water mixture all around. Cover and cook until the clams open, checking and moving around if necessary once or twice, about 12 to 14 minutes. (Time will vary with the heat of your grill; keep it covered.)

6. Using dry towels or pot holders, carefully remove the hot pans from the grill. Add the butter to the pans; stir when melted.

7. Brush the bread with oil and grill, about 2 minutes per side, until nicely toasted.

8. Arrange the clams in two heated serving bowls and garnish with plenty of fresh herbs and lemon wedges. Serve with grilled bread.