The combination of spinach, breading, garlic, scallions, butter, wine, hot sauce and salt on a baked oyster is one of the best oyster dishes I've ever tried. Just add a squirt of lemon and enjoy.
The toughest part about making this dish is opening the oysters. As general rule you should only use oysters with shells that are tightly closed. On the other hand it also makes it tougher to open. The trick is to open the shells at the hinges using a small but sturdy knife. Crack the shell open just large enough to slide a blade through to slice the muscle attached to the shell and it opens right up. It took a lot of practice for me to do it well, but it was well worth the work.
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes (mostly removing opening the oyster shells)
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Special Tools: Food Processor
5-6 oz. Spinach (washed)
1/3 Cup Scallions chopped
1/3 Cup Celery chopped
1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley chopped
2 Garlic Cloves chopped
3 Anchovy fillets in oil
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Anisette Liquor or White Wine
Tobasco or Hot Sauce
12 Oysters in their shell
Lemon to serve
Bring a medium sized sauce pan to medium low heat. Add the spinach to the pan and stir frequently until the spinach leaves are all wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and let the spinach cool for 10 minutes.
Using your hands squeeze out as much water from the cooled spinach and place it into a food processor with the scallions, celery, parsley, garlic, and anchovy. Process the ingredients until finely chopped.
In a large skillet melt the butter. Add the processed spinach-mixed ingredients to the skillet along with the bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, liquor and hot sauce to taste. Stir the ingredients together while cooking for about two minutes. Transfer the ingredients to a bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.
While the mixed herb topping cools, wash and open the oysters into half shells.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out the oysters in their half shell onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Placing the oyster shells next to each other will prevent them from tipping over. Use a teaspoon to spread a light layer of the spinach and herb mixture onto the top of each oyster. Bake the oysters in the oven for 20 minutes.
Serve the oysters hot with wedges of lemon, melted butter and hot sauce on the side.