Baked Oysters with Bacon and Spinach
Chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, shared this recipe for a lighter twist on classic oysters Rockefeller.
Yield: serves 4-6
- 30 medium oysters, such bluepoint or Apalachicola
- 2 lb. spinach
- 3 oz. bacon, minced
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 slices white bread, finely ground in food processor
- 1⁄4 cup combined minced fresh flat-leaf parsley and chives
- Freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg, to taste
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Rock salt, for serving Kosher salt, to taste
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Shuck the oysters, leaving them in the bottom shells. Transfer oysters in their shells to a baking sheet lined with rock salt, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spinach and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Drain spinach and transfer to a bowl of ice water; chill. Drain spinach, squeeze to dry, and finely chop; set aside.
- Arrange an oven rack 6″ from heating element and heat oven to broil. Combine bacon and oil in a 12‚″ skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon fat has rendered and bacon is not yet crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Add leeks and garlic to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer leek mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the reserved spinach and bacon, along with butter, bread crumbs, herbs, lemon zest and juice. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and spoon about 1 tbsp. of the mixture over each oyster. Broil oysters until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve hot, with lemon wedges.