I like to spend summer surrounded by friends, dining outdoors with a cold beer in hand. This is a dish that was inspired by those summer nights — juicy, colossal prawns roasted to perfection and served along briny, sweet littlenecks.
Everything comes together fast and most things can be prepped in advance. About an hour before serving, get a cast-iron skillet blazing hot. When you’re ready to serve, quickly roast the prawns and then the sweet Littleneck clams in the same skillet to make a spoonable sauce. I like to serve this family style on a large platter with a gremolata of parsley, garlic and preserved lemon scattered on top.
Note from the cook
Carabineros or Scarlet Prawns are one of my favorites. These beautiful deep-sea prawns are found in the Mediterranean Sea and are sweeter than shrimp and more flavorful than lobster needing barely anything more than a hot pan, parsley, garlic, and lemon. Be sure to save the heads and shells, as they make an incredible seafood stock.
In My Kitchen
Roasted Colossal Prawns with Littleneck Clams & Gremolata
- 1 lb [453 g] head-on, tail-on colossal prawns, cleaned and deveined (like Carabineros Scarlet Prawns)
- 1 dozen littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed
- 1/4 cup [60 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup [15 g] fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp preserved lemon rind, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 Thai chile, thinly sliced
- Flaky sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Put a large, dry cast-iron skillet in the oven and heat until very hot, about 1 hour.
Place the clams in a medium-sized bowl and fill it with cool tap water. Let the clams sit for about 30 minutes to remove the sand from inside their shells. Just before you're ready to cook, scrub each clam with a stiff-bristle brush to remove any particles or grit from the shell.
Devine the prawns by making a slit with a sharp knife or kitchen sears along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein. Pull out the vein.
In a small bowl, stir together the parsley, zest of 1 lemon, and preserved lemon rind. Using a Microplane, grate the garlic into the mixture, stir to combine, and season with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
In a medium bowl, combined the prawns and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with half of the parsley mixture and the juice of 1 lemon.
Immediately add the prawns to the hot skillet and return to the oven. Roast until just cooked through , 5-6 minutes (depending on size). Remove the prawns and add the clams to the skillet. Cover in foil and roast for 5-8 minutes or until the clams open. Discard any unopened clams.
Transfer the prawns, clams, and pan juices to a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining parsley mixture and sliced chile. Serve with lemon wedges.