Shucking and Sharing Oysters

Photo from Hog Island Oyster Company

This Saturday, (April 30, 2011) I am honored to be the Guest Shucker at the Hog Island Oyster Company at the Oxbow Market in Downtown Napa.  From 2:30 p.m. to 5:30  p.m., yours truly will shuck and share with everyone who comes to the oyster bar.  Hog Island will also serve one of my sauce recipes, a Salsa Verde, that is my all-time favorite with oysters.

I hope you’ll come and share some oysters with me, and if you bring some home, you’ll want to make your own Salsa Verde to enjoy with them.  Enjoy!

SALSA VERDE
Makes about 1 cup

This is a quick little sauce of Spanish origin that is delicious on all kinds of grilled, pan seared or roasted meats, fish and vegetables.  Note that I’ve used blanched or roasted garlic rather than the fresh raw type.  I think this is especially important if you are going to make the sauce ahead.  Within an hour, raw garlic can become harsh and hot.  Blanched or roasted garlic maintains its more subtle and sweet flavor and doesn’t overpower the sauce as it sits.

1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons blanched or roasted garlic (see note below)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or mint or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup or so fruity extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Add the parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, basil and zest to a food processor or blender.  With machine running, slowly add the oil until just blended.  Sauce should still have a little texture.  Season with salt and pepper.  Can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Note:  To poach garlic, separate cloves but don’t peel.  Place in a small sauce pan and cover with at least ½ inch of cold water.  Place on stove over high heat and bring to a boil.  As soon as water boils, drain and repeat process one more time.  Rinse to cool off cloves.  Remove husk from poached garlic and store covered in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To roast garlic, cut off top quarter of a whole head to expose each of the cloves.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap loosely in foil and roast in a preheated 375-degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until garlic is soft when gently squeezed.  Store covered in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Squeeze out as needed.

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