If you already have your grill on for your main course, these oysters are an impressive and supersimple starter. Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson cooks the oysters ever so slightly on the grill for a kiss of smoke. “It firms up the flesh just enough so it feels like you’re eating shellfish,” she says.
Slideshow:More Oyster Recipes
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons beet juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 slice of thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Swiss chard leaf, stemmed
12 Hama Hama or Blue Point oysters
How to Make It
In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the apple cider vinegar with the beet juice, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the red onion and refrigerate for 1 hour. Drain before using.
In a small skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until browned but still chewy, 5 minutes. Keep warm.
In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and the remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Light a grill. Rub the chard leaf with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat, turning, until lightly charred but still pliable, 3 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let cool slightly, then thinly slice. Leave the grill on.
On a rimmed baking sheet or platter, spread an even layer of salt. Grill the oysters flat side up over high heat until the shells open slightly, 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the oysters to the prepared baking sheet, being careful not to spill the juices. Using a kitchen towel or mitt, remove the top shells. Spoon the vinaigrette over the oysters. Top with the chard, bacon and pickled onion; serve right away.
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