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Baked Oysters with Hazelnuts and Leeks

Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
These oysters—accented by sweet leeks and crunchy hazelnuts—make a wonderful first course for a dinner party. Oyster lovers may want a dozen for themselves as a main course. The leek mixture also can be used as a topping for baked or grilled fish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 medium oysters in the shell

How to Make It

  1. Cut a piece of foil twice as long as a large baking sheet. Loosely crumple the foil, and use it to line the baking sheet. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks; cook 4 minutes or until they begin to soften, stirring constantly. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 8 minutes or until leeks are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat, and stir in hazelnuts and next 4 ingredients.

  3. Scrub oyster shells. Shuck oysters, discarding tops. Arrange bottoms on crumpled foil (to keep oysters from tipping over). Top oysters evenly with leek mixture.

  4. Bake at 475°, in batches, 6 minutes or until oysters plump and edges bubble. Carefully arrange on a platter, and serve immediately.