Click here to view a large-size version of this picture.
18 large clams, scrubbed
6 medium Russian Banana fingerling potatoes, unpeeled
1 bunch ramps, cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter
Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced onion chives
Steam the clams in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven containing 1″ of boiling salted water until the clams open, approximately 2 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Remove pot from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a large bowl. Remove the clam meat from the shells; discard shells. Set the clam meat aside. Reserve 1/4 cup clam broth.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling lightly salted water until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Clams and potatoes can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead. Cover them separately and refrigerate.
Cut ramps in half; separate ramp stalks from ramp leaves. Chop the stalks into 1/2″ pieces. Julienne the leaves. Slice the potatoes into 1/2″ thick rounds. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ramp stalks to the pan. Sauté them until they become slightly golden brown. Add the potatoes. Sauté the potatoes until they develop a light crust on both sides. Add the reserved clam meat and ramp leaves. If the potatoes seem too dry, sprinkle with 1 or 2 tablespoons clam broth. Give the mixture a final stir. Season to taste with fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper. Mix in chives and transfer to a serving platter.
Pour reserved clam broth onto the same skillet. Whisk 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits. Let broth reduce over medium heat until the total volume of broth has reduced by half. Spoon sauce onto clams and potatoes, then serve immediately.
Time: 30 minutes, not including prep. This recipe makes enough for 2 side dish servings or 1 main entrée.