This dish has all the cheesy, satisfying qualities of a potato gratin but with fresh and refreshing coastal flavours coming from the lemon and leek. Baking oysters completely changes the texture, they become firm and juicy, a little like chicken, but the flavour of the oyster intensifies making even the oyster skeptic wanting more.
This baked oyster recipe is packed with bacon, tarragon, and lemon that echoes the New England coastline where it comes from.
12 Rock Oysters
1 small leek, (the white part only) split lengthwise and washed
2 tablespoons oil
100g diced pancetta
1 tablespoon paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
100g Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon freshly chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
300g table salt
freshly ground white pepper
- Shuck the oysters, saving the bottom shell and meat.
- Fry the pancetta in the oil until crispy then add the finely chopped the leek and garlic and fry until soft.
- Remove from the heat and fold in breadcrumbs, paprika, tarragon, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and white pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Mix a little water into one to two cups of salt to make a paste. Mound the paste into a long, flat pedestal on a baking sheet.
- Place the oyster shells on top of the mound and spoon the leek mixture over the oyster meat so that it is completely covered.
- Bake the oysters for eight minutes, then place under a hot grill and cook for two more minutes until golden.
- To serve, create small mounds of salt paste on a large serving platter and place baked oysters on top of the mounds.