Found all along the eastern coast of Australia, pipis have long been an important food source for Indigenous Australians, found in many middens dating back more than 2000 years
• 1.6kg live pipis (or clams/vongoles), purged and cleaned (see Note)
• 1 bunch garlic scales
• 100g karkalla (beach bananas), washed and picked
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 100ml fruity, mild extra-virgin olive oil, such as arbequina or koroneiki
• 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
• 20g flat-leaf (italian) parsley, finely chopped
1 Prepare your embers. Spread the embers evenly across the base of the grate and set a grill cooling rack 2½ cm (1 in) above the embers.
2 Place the pipis directly on the rack. Immediately cover with a lid and allow to cook for 2–3 minutes, or until they open.
3 Meanwhile, grill the garlic scapes and karkalla over the embers.
4 Uncover the pipis and, using a pair of tongs, carefully remove the pipis as they pop open, placing them into a clean bowl and retaining as much of the liquor as possible. Add the lemon zest and juice to the bowl.
5 In a small cast-iron pan, heat the olive oil. Add the chilli and gently fry until lightly golden. Pour the chilli oil over the pipis.
6 Strain the mix of oil, lemon and pipi juice into a warm saucepan and whisk to emulsify. Add the parsley and mix well.
7 Arrange the pipis in a bowl and pour the emulsified juices over, garnish with the garlic scapes and karkalla, and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Lennox Hastie, extracted from Finding Fire