This pickled cockle recipe is quite different from the jars you'll find languishing on dusty pub shelves. As Will Holland notes, it's all in the quality of the ingredients: 'We pickle our own cockles at Coast and it’s a very simple process. They taste so good and a lot different to shop-bought ones. We serve them as a nibble and are lovely with an aperitif. The vinegar I use is an amazing quality artisan malt vinegar which has been matured in oak.'
Will Holland's career path was set at age 14, at Bristol's Swallow Hotel under Michael Kitts. After training at college, Holland worked with Michelin-starred chefs at the Homewood Park Hotel and at Gravetye Manor Hotel.
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Wash the cockles thoroughly in plenty of running water. Really rumble them around to wash out all of the sand from the grooves of the shells. If any of the cockles are open, discard them
Preheat a large saucepan until it is hot. Add the cockles and 250ml of water to the pan and immediately cover with a lid. Cook over a high heat for 30 seconds –1 minute, or until all of the shells have opened
Pour the contents of the pan into a colander, discarding the cooking liquor. Pick through the open cockle shells and place all of the cockle meat in a bowl
Wash the picked cockle meat in iced water to ensure they are completely grit-free, then place in a container and cover with the malt vinegar
Leave to pickle for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving
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