This baked oyster recipe is packed with bacon, tarragon, and lemon that echoes the New England coastline where it comes from.

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.


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.
Tags: Oyster Recipe