Three Tomatoes Du Jour

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A Springtime Oyster Recipe!

Baked Belon Oysters in Seaweed Butter

Adapted by the New York Times from Andrew Carmellini, Lafayette restaurant, New York
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes

For the Seaweed Butter (Makes 1 Cup)

  • 1 sheet nori seaweed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Finely grated zest of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the Oysters

  • 1 1/2 inch square of dried wakame seaweed
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 12 Belon oysters, opened, top shells discarded
  • Wedge of lemon
  • 2 radishes, finely shredded on a grater

Preparation

1. Make the seaweed butter: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place the nori on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Break into pieces and grind to a powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly blended.

2. On a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, shape mixture into a small log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll up, seal the ends and chill until firm. May be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

3. Prepare the oysters: Heat a broiler, with a rack about 6 inches below heat. Place the wakame in a small bowl of hot water until rehydrated, about 10 minutes, then cut into 12 tiny squares; set aside. In a small skillet, toss the bread crumbs with the olive oil. Place over medium heat and stir until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.

4. Arrange oysters on a rimmed baking sheet. Top each with a small knob (about 1/2 teaspoon) of seaweed butter and 1 teaspoon of the toasted bread crumbs. Place under broiler until warmed through and butter is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Carefully (shells will be hot) transfer to a serving platter, and garnish each oyster with a squeeze of lemon, a bit of radish and a square of wakame. Serve hot.

YIELD: 4 servings                    

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