Littleneck clams are the main attraction in this elegant and flavorful cucumber-almond gazpacho from Chef Wylie Dufresne, of New York City’s wd~50. Please note that for the smoked paprika oil, use grams as form of measurement to ensure accuracy.
For the Cucumber-Almond Gazpacho
- 2 1⁄2 cups almonds, skinned and sliced
- 1⁄4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 cups water
- 1 cucumber
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup carbonated grape juice
- Sparkling water
For the Grilled Clams and Garnish
- 100 grams smoked paprika
- 200 grams grapeseed oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 16 littleneck clams
- Red grapes, seeds removed and thinly sliced into coins
- Cucumber, diced
- Scallions, thinly sliced and soaked in ice water to curl
- For the soup: Lightly roast almonds. Peel and chop cucumber. Add all ingredients, except sparkling water, to blender and blend. Chill overnight.
- Pass soup twice through fine chinois, and thin as necessary with sparkling water.
- For the smoked paprika oil: Blend smoked paprika, grapeseed oil, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Place into a small airtight container and allow to sit for 2 days. Shake vigorously twice a day. After two days, strain through a fine chinois and reserve in a squeeze bottle for use as garnish.
- For the clams: Place clams on a hot grill. Close grill lid and allow clams to open. Remove and reserve.
- To serve: Divide soup among 4 bowls. Place clams in middle of soup, creating a line. Garnish with sliced red grapes and diced cucumber. Dry curled scallions lightly with a paper towel and place on top of clams. Dot soup with smoked paprika oil.