Eric Wolfinger
Clams with Beans, Chamomile, Brassicas & Sorrels, adapted from Manresa: An Edible Reflection by David Kinch.
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Clams with Beans, Chamomile, Brassicas & Sorrels

Manresa: An Edible Reflection, David Kinch with Christine Muhlke - December 12th, 2013

This recipe has been adapted from Manresa: An Edible Reflection by David Kinch with Christine Muhlke―a book featured in Word-to-Table Cooking, Food Arts' yearly roundup of chef-authored cookbooks.

“A warm salad of clams and fresh runner beans, a specialty of our maritime clime, is a great base to show off the assertive flavors of wild sorrel and white onion blossoms—one of my true favorites. This is a dish that would not have been out of place in the Quilted Giraffe kitchen: floral and vegetal at the same time, offering textural complexity and a minimum of fat with the wild lemony burst of sorrel that I return to time and time again.”

Serves 8 as a first course

Cranberry beans:

  • 1/2 cup (83g) fresh cranberry beans, shelled
  • 1/2 tsp. (1g) black peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/4 white onion, cut into large dice
  • 1/4 large carrot, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1/2 stalk celery, cut into large dice
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (185g) dry white wine
  • 4 cups (1L) Manresa vegetable broth
  1. Soak beans in 4 cups water in covered large container at room temperature 1 hour; drain; rinse beans thoroughly while agitating; secure peppercorns and herbs in a sachet.

  2. Lightly sweat onion, carrot, celery, and sachet in oil, being careful to avoid any color or caramelization; when onion is translucent, carefully add wine to deglaze the pot lightly; reduce wine by half; add beans and cover with 2” broth; cover with a cartouche; cook on low simmer 45 to 90 minutes, until beans begin to soften, lose their starch, and develop a creamy texture; remove pot from heat, allowing beans to finish cooking and soften more as the liquid cools.

Cherrystone clams:

  • 8 1/2 cups (2L) cold water
  • 1.5 oz. (40g) rishiri kombu, wiped with a moist towel
  • 6 lbs. (2.7K) cherrystone clams

Pour water into large pot and add kombu; place clams on top of the kombu; cover pot; place over high heat; cook until clams open, soon after liquid comes to a boil; remove pot from heat; shuck the clams, trimming off the skirt so only the “meat” remains; strain cooking liquid; reserve clams, submerged in just enough cooking liquid to cover.

Chamomile curd:

  • 2.3 oz. (65g) chamomile leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy cream
  • 3.25g (0.9 percent of weight) kappa carrageenan
  • kosher salt

Place chamomile leaves in a blender; bring cream to a boil; pour cream over chamomile; blend to puree; gradually add kappa carrageenan while blending; strain mixture into loaf pan set over ice bath; when cool, blend mixture again (it will have the texture of a puree); season; transfer curd to airtight container; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

Fried Romanesco:

  • grapeseed oil (for deep frying)
  • 1 head Romanesco, cut top into small florets, reserve stalks for shaving
  • kosher salt
  1. Heat oil to 350°F (175°C) in a deep fryer or deep, heavy pan.

  2. Fry florets until crispy and browned; drain on paper towels; season; reserve in dry box.


  • 1 geoduck clam, blanched 30 seconds, membrane peeled, cleaned, and sliced thinly
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • small sorrel leaves
  • oxalis (wood sorrel)
  • oxalis blossoms
  • wild onion blossoms
  1. Trim Romanesco stalks into 1” to 2” long pieces; shave thin strips into ice water to curl and crisp.

  2. Sear geoduck on the plancha or in sauté pan with oil for a few seconds; drain clams, Romanesco stalks, and beans; dress clams, geoduck, and beans in small bowl with lemon juice and oil; place a “cascade” of curd in bowl; build up clam mixture on top; garnish with fried and shaved Romanesco, sorrels, and blossoms.