Summer time again. The weather heats up and the thought of cooking over a stove, even with air conditioning, is insufferable. So here’s a quickie salad you may consider but may not have thought of. It’s a salad of clams with avocado and tomatoes. A clam meat salad, you say? Yes, minced clams. In my family, back on the block, we loved minced clam meat. My mother would make a great salad with it which we all savored. Now, this was not necessarily whole clams and their contents, but clam meat that comes in cans. Yes, cans. I know, the elites among you may turn up your nose at opening a can for dinner since it’s so . . . so déclassé. Well, I still love tuna fish sandwiches, and crabmeat, and they all come from a can. Yes, I’m a philistine and proud of it. Besides, this salad makes it so easy. Mix some clam meat with olive oil and herbs, and add avocado and tomatoes, and you have a great salad for a hot humid day. Add some crusty bread and some good white wine like a Verdicchio or Pinot Grigio, or beer, and you have a summer banquet.
ENSALADA DE ALMEJAS CON AGUACATE Y TOMATES
5 (or 6) 6.5 ounce cans minced clams
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 lemon, cut in half
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper taste
1 fully ripened avocado
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
1 head lettuce (escarole, leaf lettuce, romaine, etc.) or a bunch of fresh spinach
1. In a bowl, combine minced clams, olive oil, vinegar, juice of ½ lemon, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well.
2. Cut avocado in half, peel and remove the pit. Cut each half into 6 to 8 wedges. Squeeze remaining lemon juice over avocado to prevent discoloration.
3. Make a bed of crisp lettuce leaves or spinach on a salad plate or serving platter. Place clam meat in center of serving platter. Arrange avocado and tomato wedges alternately around the clam meat. Sprinkled lightly with salt and serve.
Yield: 4 servings.