Small oysters such as Real McCoy and Black Pearl are all the rage here on the west coast due to their small size and ultra-clean flavor. When buying oysters, opt for those with tightly closed shells. If you’re able to hold the oysters while in the store, they should feel heavy for their size, a sign that the meat is plump and surrounded with flavourful juice. – Jen
Serves 4 (3 oyster appetizers per guest)
12 small oysters
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup breadcrumb (*NOTE: breadcrumbs are optional if you’d like to make this dish gluten-free)
Rock salt for plating
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Shuck small oysters and set aside meat in a small bowl while rinsing shells clean.
- Return oysters to the cleaned shells. Top each oyster with about 1 tsp basil pesto, then sprinkle each one evenly with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Oysters should be cooked through and slightly browned on top.
- Allow to cool for a couple minutes.
- To serve: build a small mound of rock salt on a tray or platter. The rock salt allows you to place the oysters out on the tray evenly without tipping or sliding. Guests can then choose an oyster to eat. I recommend having small forks on hand for eating them, but it’s just as easy to simply tip the small bite-sized oysters directly into your mouth from the shell.