My mom was an oyster lover of note. Whenever they were on the menu at a restaurant, she would give my dad the puppy-eyes and ask how many she could have. He always caved and told her to have as many as she wanted and she always ordered at least 12. For herself. I first tasted an oyster when I was around 8 and I found them incredibly strange. I liked that they tasted of the sea but the texture freaked me out. A couple of years later I tried again and fell instantly in love. However, I don’t eat them the same way others do. I chew them. I know, I know. People have told me I’m disgusting for doing it that way but I can’t just swallow them whole. It makes me shudder AND I feel like it’s such a waste. The flavour is so fresh and light and if you just swallow them whole, you don’t get to experience it fully. So judge me if you want, but oysters I shall chew.
For the Love chapter of my book, I knew I had to include oysters and I wanted to jazz them up a little. I made a trio of oysters and served them with Champagne mignonette, lemon salsa and my favourite, a twist on the original way of eating them, with a Tabasco granita. I think the best way to serve fresh oysters is with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon, black pepper and a dash of Tabasco. To add a little flair, I decided to make a granita of the Tabasco which, in all honesty, is the easiest thing in the world (as is demonstrated by the video) and looks incredibly impressive. For a fabulous Festive season canape, serve oysters on the half shell on a large bed of ice with a bowl of the granita and lemon wedges for guests to help themselves.
for the granita
- 100 ml Tabasco
- 12 fresh oysters on the half shell
- lemon wedges
- black pepper
- Pour the Tabasco into a freezer-proof dish and place in the freezer.
- Allow the Tabasco to freeze solid.
- When ready to serve, scrape the surface of the frozen Tabasco to make a granita.
- Serve fresh oysters with a small amount of the granita and a squeeze of lemon juice and a crack of black pepper.