Elevate Your Oyster Eating Experience with These Sauces
Okay, so you’ve shucked your delicious fresh oysters. Now what? Well, you could enjoy them straight, as nature intended. OR... you could take a few of nature’s other best ingredients and make one, or even all, of these delicious, bold, flavorful sauces (and sprinkles). So go ahead, elevate your oyster eating experience.
You can’t go wrong with tart, acidic lemon juice to complement the briny flavor of oysters. While not technically a sauce, but so much more than a garnish, fresh squeezed wedges of lemon (or lime) over freshly shucked oysters is truly one of life’s simplest and most enjoyable culinary experiences.
This one isn’t quite a sauce. It’s more of a sprinkle. But it’s worth mentioning both because of how easy it is to prepare and serve, and how delicious a freshly shucked oyster can be accompanied by a little bite of horseradish. If you have the option, use fresh horseradish root and grate it yourself. But if you must use prepared horseradish, look for grated, not creamy. For grating your own, peel the rough skin with a vegetable peeler and then grate the root directly over freshly shucked oysters. Make sure to ask your guests first, because horseradish is not for everyone, and not for the faint of heart.
Alongside those lemon wedges, be sure to include a small bowl or ramiken of classic cocktail sauce. It’s not just for shrimp! Cocktail sauce is super easy to make at home. Blend either freshly grated horseradish (for simplicity’s sake, a jar of prepared horseradish will work fine) with quality ketchup and voila! If you want more zing in your cocktail sauce, try adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce or Tobasco sauce. Serve chilled.
This punchy, sweet/sour/umami sauce is a delightful way to add flavor to freshly shucked oysters. You’ll want to prepare it at least two days early, to give the flavors in the sauce time to mature. In a bowl, combine equal parts minced shallots or red onions with either white vinegar, red wine vinegar or Prosecco vinegar. Add a bit of sugar and a bit more of finely crushed black peppercorns. Cover and chill in the refrigerator. Use within one month. Serve in a bowl, and spoon the sauce over freshly shucked oysters.
Up to this point, there probably aren’t many surprises on this list. But pesto is not a sauce many people associate with oysters. And that’s too bad. Because pesto’s rich, herbal and savory flavor pairs wonderfully with freshly shucked oysters. Simply combine fresh basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, fresh garlic and fresh lemon juice in a food processor, and pulse until finely minced. Add olive oil and blend until smooth or desired consistency is achieved. Salt to taste. Serve chilled.
So what are you waiting for? Grab some friends, a few ingredients, some oysters and your Oyster Grip (of course!) and enjoy all these fun and delicious oyster sauces and sprinkles.