Pair with Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Muscadet
Oysters have been enjoyed by people for centuries. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans served them with wine and praised them for their aphrodisiac powers and they have often been associated with love. They were so valued by Roman emperors that they paid for them by their weight in gold.
Make sure that the oysters you buy are very fresh and discard any that are open. Store oysters, in an open container, in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days maximum. Discard any that have cracked shells or do not close. I like the smaller varieties like Kumamoto or Malpeque to serve raw.
My favorite way to serve oysters is au natural (the oysters, not me). Wash the oysters well and insert an oyster knife at the hinge. Apply a little pressure and pop the shell open. Serve with one of the sauce recipes below or just a squeeze of lemon. Barbequed oysters are also delicious. Just toss them on a heated BBQ grill with the flat side up. In about 5 minutes they will pop open. Using an oven mitt or a towel you can pry the shell open the rest of the way and top with your favorite BBQ sauce, Tabasco or lemon juice.
Classic Mignonette Sauce
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup white or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients and chill.
Oysters with Cucumber & Pickled Ginger Salsa
1 cup English cucumber – peeled and finely diced
5 tablespoons pickled ginger – finely chopped
¼ cup red onion – finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves – finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour.