Baked Clams

BAKED CLAMS

2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs (preferably homemade)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
36 small clams such as cherrystones, shucked, 36 half shells reserved
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4-6 Tbsp butter, melted
Lemon wedges for garnish

Combine the garlic, bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Coarsely chop the clams and combine with the lemon juice in a separate bowl. Place the clam shells on a baking sheet, using a thin bed of rock salt to stabilize them if desired, and divide the chopped clams between them. Top with the bread crumb mixture and drizzle with the butter. Cook under a preheated broiler until the topping is golden brown and the clams are bubbling, about 2 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serves 4 to 6.