I have a confession: I’m not the biggest fan of raw oysters. People wax poetic about Blue Points and Wellfleets and debate about East Coast versus West Coast varieties, but they’re all a little too cold and slippery for me to enjoy the flavor. Of course, you can serve them with a classic mignonette sauce and rye bread but then all you really taste is mignonette sauce and rye bread. However, if you put some freshly shucked oysters (on the half shell) on the grill for two to three minutes, just long enough to heat them through, everything changes! For this version, I make a simple herb butter — a combination of good butter, freshly squeezed lemon juice and dill — and add some to each oyster before I grill them. They’re a perfect summer appetizer: celebratory and so delicious. And only you will know how easy they were to make!
Heat a charcoal or gas grill. If using charcoal, make sure you have a full layer of hot coals on the grate.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, garlic, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Place the oysters on the half shell on a sheet pan. Place 1 level teaspoon of the herbed butter on each oyster (you’ll have just enough butter for all the oysters). Place slightly crumpled sheets of aluminum foil on the grill grates to keep the oysters stable. Transfer the oysters to the foil, making sure the shells are level so the butter doesn’t spill out. Cover the grill with the lid, making sure the vents are open, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the butter comes to a simmer and the oysters are just heated through. Transfer carefully to a platter, sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.
Ask your fish supplier to open the oysters and leave them on the bottom rounded shell. Keep refrigerated and use them as soon as possible after they’ve been opened.