Oysters are always the life of the party. To heat up an extra-special occasion, Canadian chef Michael Smith coaxes a hot wood fire into a warm bed of coals, then roasts local Prince Edward Island oysters directly in the embers. Lovage—a bright green, celery-like herb with sweet anise notes—is a striking addition to the “Love Butter” he adds to the simmering shellfish. If unavailable, substitute scallion greens, fresh tarragon, dill, or even parsley.
This recipe is adapted from Farm, Fire & Feast: Recipes from the Inn at Bay Fortune by Michael Smith. Copyright © 2021 Michael Smith. Photography by Al Douglas. Published by Penguin Canada®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
- ¼ cups loosely packed fresh lovage leaves
- 16 tbsp. (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
- 48 oysters
*A Safety Note:
What could go wrong? Exploding shells! Forgotten in the fire by a distracted cook. A thicker oyster shell left for too long in a hot bed of coals will eventually dry out and may crack or explode. It’s not particularly dangerous, but it is sudden and surprising, and easily avoided by not overcooking the oysters.