Beach Fare: Oysters
I grew up in the Northeast where we followed the “R” rule for eating oysters: You must only consume oysters in months with an ‘R’ in them. From May thru August, fresh shucked oysters were not an option.
Not so in the Northwest where oysters are available year round – many varieties in many preparations. Why? Colder waters, more varieties to choose from, better farming techniques and more knowledge on the part of oyster purveyors and patrons.
Seattle is home to fabulous Happy Hours and qualifies as an oyster-eater’s paradise. Several popular restaurants start serving oysters at 4:00 PM for a $1.00 each. By 4:30 you can’t get a seat.
But you can always find fresh shucked oysters in jars or containers at reputable seafood sellers and quality markets to transform in cooked preparations.
Last weekend I visited friends at their beach house in Gearhart, Oregon – among the more charming towns along the Oregon Coast – and made them the baked oyster dish I learned years ago. The salad was a perfect match.
The world was definitely our oyster!
- 2 lbs. shucked fresh oysters –I prefer the smaller ones if they are available
- 1 ½ bunches green onions
- ½ bunch fresh parsley
- 5 cloves garlic
- Juice of 3 lemons – measured
- Worcestshire Sauce – equal to amount of lemon juice
- Few shakes of green tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- Butter – 2-4 T.
- 1 C. Bread crumbs
- Sliced country style or olive bread, toasted in oven until golden…
- In processor coarsely chop green onions, parsley and garlic
- Butter deep casserole and put some of green mixture in bottom
- Layer oysters and green mixture, finishing with greens.
- Pour liquid over it all
- Top with pats of butter and bread crumbs.
- Bake in 400 degree oven for half hour until liquid is bubbling and crumbs are browned. Test the oysters to make sure they are plump and cooked through.
- Serve on sliced toasted bread
Fabulous Summer Salad
- 2 ears fresh corn – cut off cob (uncooked if sweet enough or cooked for 1 min)
- 1 – 2 C champagne grapes or 2 C. red grapes, halved
- ½ C grated cheese – cheddar, parmesan or aged Gouda
- 1 onion – tamed (cut in chunks, put in glass container with 3 T. balsamic or other vinegar – loosely cover with paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes)
- Box of baby spinach (1-2 lbs.)
- Vinegar from onions
- 1-2 T. mustard – Dijon style, stone ground, tarragon (not yellow!)
- ¼ C more vinegar – rice, balsamic, wine…)
- ¼ C olive oil
- Assemble salad ingredients – toss with dressing right before serving.