The following recipe is from the February 25th edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!
This dish of baked oysters with fresh thyme and sweet garlic butter is probably the simplest dish in the entire Le Bernardin repertoire. Master cook though he is, executive chef Eric Ripert knows that certain ingredients need only the barest—if any—preparation. Good oysters are one of them.
Ripert loves the Kumamoto oysters from Washington state, “which have a firm texture and creamy flavor with a mildly fruity finish.” If you can’t find Kumamotos, don’t despair. Any plump, medium-sized oyster will work, as long as you don’t overcook them, causing them to dry out and lose their flavor. Clams work beautifully in this dish, too.
- 3 cups kosher salt
- 28 Kumamoto oysters, shucked
- 1/2 cup garlic butter (recipe follows), softened
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Mix 1 cup of the kosher salt with just enough water to make it the consistency of wet sand. Place 7 small mounds of the salt on each of four serving plates to hold the baked oysters. Set aside.
Spread the remaining 2 cups salt on a baking sheet. Place about a teaspoon of the garlic butter on each oyster and nestle the oysters in the salt. Scatter the thyme over the oysters.
Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the butter is bubbling and lightly browned.
To serve, place each oyster on a mound of salt on the serving plates. Drizzle with lemon juice, and serve immediately.
- makes about 1/2 pound -
Wrap the parsley in a square of cheesecloth (or paper towel) and squeeze to remove excess moisture.
Whip the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. (This can also be done by hand in a large mixing bowl.) Add the garlic, shallot, and parsley and mix well.
Transfer the butter to a plastic container and store, tightly sealed, for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer.