Oysters Rockefeller

24 large live oysters
rock salt
1 tbsp low-fat margarine
2 tbsp light olive oil
6 scallions, chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp finely chopped celery
1½ oz/40 g watercress sprigs
3 oz/85 g young spinach leaves, rinsed and any tough stems removed
1 tbsp anise-flavored liqueur
4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
few drops of hot pepper sauce, to taste
lemon wedges, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Shuck the oysters, running an oyster knife under each oyster to loosen it from its shell. Pour off the liquor. Arrange a ½–¾- inch/1–2-cm layer of salt in a roasting pan large enough to hold the oysters in a single layer, or use 2 roasting pans. Nestle the oyster shells in the salt so that they remain upright. Cover with a thick, damp dish towel and let chill while you make the topping.
2. If you don’t have oyster plates with indentations that hold the shells upright, line
4 plates with a layer of salt deep enough to hold 6 shells upright. Set the plates aside.
3. Melt half the margarine and the oil in a large skillet. Add the scallions, garlic, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat for 2–3 minutes, until softened.
4. Stir in the remaining margarine, then add the watercress and spinach and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute, or until the leaves wilt. Transfer to a small food processor or blender and add the liqueur, breadcrumbs, hot pepper sauce, and pepper. Process until well blended.
5. Spoon 2–3 teaspoons of the sauce over each oyster. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plates and serve with lemon wedges.

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