Perhaps nothing so perfectly captures the sweet, salty essence of the sea as an oyster on the half shell. I love to eat them raw and simply adorned, but on special occasions, I’ll light up the grill to make these Grilled Parmesan Oysters. Every time I do it I wonder why I wait for a special occasion. These simple oysters are so delicious and pair beautifully with a rustic white wine from the Rhone region of France.
- ½ cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping oysters)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh flat leaf parsley
- 24 large fresh oysters
- lemon wedges (for serving)
Make the compound butter: Combine butter, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, garlic, and parsley in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Prepare the oysters: Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium-high heat. If you’re using charcoal, don’t wait until the coals are white and ashen, you’ll want a little live fire. Using an oyster knife and a heavy glove or towel carefully shuck the oysters, keeping the shell horizontal to retain as much liquid as possible. Wipe the oyster knife clean, discard top shell, then carefully slide the oyster knife under the oyster flesh to cut through the muscle holding it to the shell. Leave the oyster in place. Repeat with remaining oysters setting them carefully on a rock salt or gravel covered serving plate as you work. This will keep the oysters sitting upright. Once all the oysters are shucked dollop Parmesan-butter mixture evenly onto the oysters, followed by about ½ teaspoon additional grated Parmesan cheese.
Grill the oysters: When ready to grill place the oysters, face up, directly on the grates over lightly flaming live fire. Wait for the butter to melt and begin to sizzle, about 2 to 3 minutes. Depending on the heat of the fire, you may need to cover the grill during cooking so they cook quickly. Using tongs, carefully move the grilled oysters, retaining the liquid, to the rock salt or gravel covered serving plate. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.