You Can Dig It

Jun 1, 2005
Outside Magazine
beach party

COME TOGETHER: From left, on Mike, sweater ($150) and cargo shorts ($85) from POLO BY RALPH LAUREN. On Victoria, crochet top ($98) and jeans ($165) by RALPH LAUREN BLUE LABEL. On Nick, vintage jeans jacket by LEVI'S; vintage T-shirt by MELET MERCANTILE; cargo shorts ($85) from POLO BY RALPH LAUREN. On Blake, vintage shirt by MELET MERCANTILE; jeans ($108) by LUCKY BRAND JEANS.    Photo: Noe DeWitt

For prime seafood with a stellar view, skip the restaurant lines and shovel up a surfside clambake. We tapped Bill Hart, executive chef of the legendary Black Dog Tavern, on Martha's Vineyard, for info on how to do it up right. First, make sure fires are legal on your beach—chances are you'll have to get a permit. Then dig a square pit in the sand, two and a half feet deep and three to four feet wide. Line the bottom with fist-size rocks and toss in some firewood. (If you're looking for a tinge of sweet in your bake, try cherry or apple wood.) Let your fire burn for about two hours—until the wood is gone and the rocks sizzle when sprinkled with water—before adding a layer of store-bought fresh seaweed. Now lob in your grub: For ten hungry beachgoers, that'd be 20 whole red bliss potatoes, eight to ten Spanish onions (halved), ten ears of corn (husks and all), ten links of linguica sausage, ten lobsters, and three to four pounds of mussels and clams—Hart recommends steamers and littlenecks. Cover it all up with more seaweed and a board laid across the top to lock in the steam. The rest is easy: Shoot the breeze for the next two hours until the clams have opened up (any that haven't are bad). Slip on your oven mitts, pull out the goods, and serve 'em up with lemon wedges and melted butter.

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