Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Grilled oysters

On Wednesday, Dec. 10, I'll be writing about some interesting appetizers in my food column in the Sun Herald. 

The idea is that many people no longer are crazy about having one large plate of food as a main course. That huge steak just isn't as good after the 10th bite. 

So, why not order a selection of small plates, as some restaurant are calling them now? If you are with a few friends, everyone gets a few bites of many different menu items. 

The Spanish have been doing that for generations at their tapas bars. It is a good idea, because your selection is improved, and if you are lucky, you just may not eat too much.


The following recipe may be problematic for some of us. First, it does require a very hot grill, gas, charcoal or wood will do, but electric just won’t cut it. Second, if you are not careful, the ingredients you add to the oysters will overpower the delicate flavor of the oyster. Proceed with caution on both counts. Additionally, use the largest oysters you can find.

24 oysters on the half shell with liquor

1 stick softened butter

1 tablespoon minced garlic (or less)

4-5 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons minced basil

Combine the softened butter, garlic, cheese, lemon juice and basil. Add a teaspoon to each oyster and carefully place on a very hot grill. Be prepared for flare-ups, so stand clear. Just as soon as the oysters start to bubble, they are done. Remove and serve at once.