Dressed cockles

by Leonardo Rivera Ruiz

A quintessentially Mediterranean dish from new book, Brindisa: The True Food of Spain

Cockles have a delicate flavour, so you have to be careful not to overpower them. Our executive chef, Josep, makes a light, fresh salsa using the brine from the can, mixed with extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, lemon juice and mild paprika. The result is absolutely delicious, and the title of ‘dressed cockles’ really can’t convey the quintessentially Mediterranean freshness of the flavours—especially when served with a glass of chilled fino sherry or vermouth.


112g tin of cockles in brine
1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, such as arbequina
½ tbsp sherry or moscatel vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp pimentón dulce (mild paprika)
Bread, to dip (optional)
Fino sherry or vermouth, to serve (optional)


Open the tin of cockles and place a spatula over the fish so that you can drain the brine into a bowl, leaving the beautifully arranged cockles in place. Keep the brine to one side.

To make the dressing, combine the virgin olive oil, sherry or moscatel vinegar, lemon juice, 1½ tsp reserved brine and pimentón dulce and pour this over the cockles in their tin.

Serve with good bread to dip into the dressing at the end.

Recipe: Leonardo Rivera Ruiz
Image: Pippa Drummond