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Cataplana with Cilantro Purée
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium bunch fresh cilantro, plus leaves from 6 sprigs reserved for serving
- 3 Tbs. olive oil, plus additional for serving
- 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup white wine
- 26 littleneck clams, scrubbed, or an equivalent combination of clams and cockles
- 2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Rustic bread, toasted and drizzled with olive oil, for serving
- Prepare an ice bath. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt generously and add the cilantro bunch. Submerge and cook for 15 seconds. Drain and transfer to the ice bath. Cool completely and transfer to a cutting board. Roughly chop. Put the cilantro in a blender, along with 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth, adding additional water by the tablespoon if necessary to create a thick purée. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bay leaf. Season with salt and sauté until the onions are softened and lightly golden in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking until reduced by half.
- Add the clams and cover. Cook 5 minutes. Add the mussels and cover again, cooking until all the shellfish is open, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the cilantro purée to the pot, shaking and stirring to blend it with the broth.
- Divide the shellfish and broth among the bowls and serve immediately, with lemon wedges, additional cilantro leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and bread.