Baked Oysters with Hazelnuts and Leeks

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.

Yield:

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe from


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

Preparation

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.

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.

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

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

Note:

Cynthia Nims,

March 2008