Recipe courtesy of Brooke Williamson

Roasted Oysters with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

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To me, the only other way to eat oysters, besides simply shucking them fresh and cold, is to grill them. I love the gentle warmth and slight smoke that the grill imparts on a fresh oyster. Adding slightly wilted watercress gives the oyster some structure, notes of green pepper and an added vessel for the vinaigrette. The use of bacon in the vinaigrette drills in the smoky element, while adding both richness and much needed acidity.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat a wood-fired or regular oven to 400 degrees F. Fill a 14-inch cast-iron pan with the rock salt.
  2. Shuck the oysters, keeping them in their bottom shells, then lay them on the rock salt, using care to save as much of the oyster liquor as possible. Place the entire pan in the oven and cook until the oysters are just set, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the bacon to a medium cast-iron pan, then set over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until the fat has rendered out and the bacon begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onions to the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low. Sweat the onions until they have begun to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the mustard, then slowly add the vinegar, stirring. (You will want to stir and swirl the pan as you add the liquid, to help emulsify the mustard and vinegar into the bacon fat.) Add the watercress and stir the mixture to combine and wilt the cress.
  4. Remove the oysters from the oven. Evenly divide and top each oyster with the bacon vinaigrette.

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