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Smoked Oysters with Olive Relish

Photo: Charles Masters; Styling: Alma Melendez
Hands-on time 45 mins
Total time 1 hr, 45 mins
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 4 topped oysters and 2 tablespoons relish)
This dish is near to Steve's heart. He makes it often with the briny oysters raised in Katama Bay, close to his home on Martha's Vineyard. If your experience with smoked oysters is limited to the oily, strong-flavored bivalves sold canned, you're in for a revelation. The brininess of the olive- and caper-laced relish echoes the fresh, oceany notes of the oysters. Keep as much of the oysters' juices as possible in the shells while shucking and grilling.


  • 1 1/2 cups hickory wood chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled plum tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 large shucked oysters (on the half shell)
  • 12 lemon wedges

Nutrition Information

  • calories 120
  • fat 9.3 g
  • satfat 1.5 g
  • monofat 6.1 g
  • polyfat 1.4 g
  • protein 4.3 g
  • carbohydrate 5.1 g
  • fiber 0.7 g
  • cholesterol 30 mg
  • iron 3.9 mg
  • sodium 373 mg
  • calcium 37 mg

How to Make It

  1. Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain.

  2. Combine olives and the next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl.

  3. Remove grill rack, and set aside. Prepare the grill for indirect grilling, heating one side to medium-high and leaving one side with no heat. Maintain temperature at 300°. Pierce bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife. Place pan on heat element on heated side of grill; add wood chips to pan. Place another disposable aluminum foil pan (do not pierce pan) on unheated side of grill. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Place grill rack on grill. Place the oysters on grill rack over foil pan on unheated side, and close lid. Cook for 9 minutes; remove oysters from grill. Top each oyster with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive mixture; serve immediately with lemon wedges.