Serves 4

Gribble Bridge Dornfelder|2013Biddenden, Kent

Ingredients

Razor clam

8 large razor clams (2 per person)

Parsley stems

1 clove of garlic sliced thin

½ shallot sliced finely

100ml white wine

1Tbs Vegetable oil

Gourd pickle

100g Butternut squash, finely diced

50g courgette, finely diced (flesh only)

30g shallot finely diced

10g raisins chopped

10g capers, drained, finely chopped

1tbs Sherry vinegar

½ lime juiced

pinch of fresh dill chopped

2tbs tomato sauce

1tbs olive oil

Season to taste with salt and pepper

Scrump batter

100g corn flour

10g baking powder

1g salt

Sparkling water, ice cold – just enough to create a thin batter

Garnish

Crispy purslane

Toasted pumpkin seeds

Optional: fine julienne of raw butternet squash

Fine julienne of raw courgette skin

Additional fresh dill

Method

Razor clam

Make sure the clams are fresh and still alive before cooking.Thoroughly wash the clams removing the grit. Use lidded pan large enough to hold all of the clams: Place over high heat. Add the oil, shallot and garlic. Quickly add the clams and white wine. Steam briefly in the white wine (30 seconds ish – it will take a lot less than muscles or other clams) until the clams just open. Drain the clams and reserve the liquid.When the clams are cool enough to handle remove the meat from the shells. Wash and reserve the shells for presentation. Ther muscle is divided into two parts: The white main muscle and the darker “dirty” bit. Trim away the darker part. There are two flaps of muscle on either side of the darker bit – think skirt on a scallop. Remove these and reserve for the scrump.Thinly slice the white muscle. One third should be added to the skirt meat and used for scrump. The other 2/3 will be used for the crudo.

Gourd pickle

Over medium heat, gently cook the shallot in oil for one minute. Add the butternut squash and continue to oook for another minute. Add the courgette, and cook 30 seconds.Add the sherry vinegar and cook briefly. Add the tomato sauce capers and raisins. Finish with the fresh herbs and lime juice. Cook just until the flavours marry. There should still be texture in the mixture. Adjust the seasoning and then allow to cool and reserve.

Scrump batter

Combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add the sparkling water. Stir gently with awhisk until just combined. Do not over-mix. (Think tempura vs beer batter!).Keep the batter refrigerated until ready to use.

To serve

Combine the white clam meat with a large spoonful of the gourd pickle. Mix well. Check the seasoning. Adjust with a bit of lime zest, juice and salt if necessary.Place the clam and pickle mix on four of the razor clam shells. Divide the remaining pickle between the remaining shells.Heat he fryer to 350 F.Fry a small branch of sea purslane, until it becomes crispy. Drain on a paper towel and reserve.Dry all of the small pieces of clam that you are going to fry. Work in small batches. Add a good pinch of the clam meat to the batter; let them drain briefly before placing into the fryer. (a little extra fried batter is a beautiful thing!) Cook until they are evenly coloured. Remove to a paper towel. Season immediately and keep warm. Repeat.Top the gorge pickle with fired clam bits. Garnish with the pumpkin seeds, the optional garnishes (if using) and the sea purslane branch. Serve while the clam scrump is warm.

Find out more information about Saltwood on the Green here |www.saltwoodrestaurant.co.uk

Find out more about Biddenden Vineyards here |www.biddendenvineyards.com