Oysters Rockefeller, a stunning appetizer of oysters on the half shell topped with fennel, bread crumb, parsley, and watercress purée, and baked until golden, is a classic for a reason. See for yourself.
A favorite along the eastern seaboard during the earlier part of the 20th century was Oysters Rockefeller—baked oysters topped with savory greens. Because of its rich ingredients, creator Jules Alciatore of Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans chose John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in the nation, as its namesake.–Craig Claiborne
LC EAT YOUR GREENS NOTE
Well, sneaking greens into an oysters dish laced with Pernod is certainly one way to get folks to eat your, er, their greens.
- 24 oysters on the half shell
- 2 sticks (8 oz) butter
- 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 small garlic clove minced
- 2 cups chopped watercress
- 1/3 cup chopped fennel
- 1/3 cup fine, soft bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup anisette or Pernod
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Fill 4 tin pie plates with rock salt and arrange 6 oysters on the half shell on each.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the parsley, celery, shallots, and garlic and cook 3 minutes. Add the watercress and fennel and cook until the watercress wilts, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients, and blend until the sauce is thoroughly puréed.
- Place 1 tablespoon sauce on each oyster and spread to the rim of the shell. Bake the oysters just until the sauce bubbles, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
Originally published April 18, 2000