Author Ed Giobbi prefers clams or mussels to oysters for his La Vigilia menu; his daughter usually opts for oysters—simply because, she says, they're easier to open.
1 celery stalk, trimmed and minced
3 tbsp. butter, softened
2 tbsp. minced fresh tarragon leaves
5 tbsp. fresh bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 oysters (such as blue points, malpeques,
or kumamotos) on the half shell
1. Set rack in the top third of the oven, then preheat the broiler. Combine celery, butter, tarragon, and 3 tbsp. of the bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Mix into a rough paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Loosen oysters from their shells with a paring knife. Smear about 1⁄2 tbsp. bread crumb mixture on each oyster, then sprinkle remaining 2 tbsp. bread crumbs on top.
3. Arrange oysters on a baking sheet. Place in oven and broil until bread crumb topping is browned, about 2 minutes.