Barbecued Cockles with Parsley and Riesling

11:05 am on 27 September 2010

Sean Armstrong’s Kitchen published by Random House

(Serves 4)

This is a really quick and extremely tasty way to cook cockles. Try them with different styles of white wine. For this, my pick is a bottle of good riesling every time. If you are collecting the cockles yourself, place them in a large bucket under slowly running water to wash out the sand. Crunchy cockles don’t taste that great and what a waste of your favourite wine!


  • lots of cockles (about 15 per person), washed
  • ¼ bottle riesling
  • ¼ bunch chervil
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt


Heat a barbecue plate to high with the lid down. Place the cockles on the barbecue plate. Splash with half the wine and quickly close the barbecue lid to steam the cockles for 3–5 minutes.

While the cockles are steaming, roughly chop the chervil and the parsley together. Don’t worry about cutting the herbs too finely or removing all the stalks. Add the rest of the wine to the cockles and continue cooking until all the cockles are open. Discard any that have not opened after 8 minutes of cooking.

If I’m at the beach with the boys, I sprinkle the chopped herbs and lemon zest and juice straight onto the barbecue and away we go – a few burnt fingers here and there are all good between close friends. If you want to be more formal, serve cockles on a large platter, scattered with the herbs and lemon zest and juice. Have a finger bowl of warm water on the side.

Stephen Morris’s wine recommendation

Riesling obviously, ideally some of the same that gets splashed into the cooking.

Two Paddocks "Picnic" 2009 (Central Otago)- clean, limes and mandarins. An exceedingly pretty wine.


Misha's Vineyard "Limelight" 2009 (Central Otago) - crisp with nice a taut character. 26g/l residual sugar, but you'd never know, as the acid is so well balanced. $25.

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