When an oyster is grilled, it retains its delicacy and yet, is also fortified by fire and smoke, which gives the oyster an ethereal richness that tends toward meatiness. Grilled oysters partner with tarragon particularly well, as tarragon's fresh, green licorice-like flavor is delicate enough to balance oysters without overpowering them.
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How to Grill Oysters
The most popular way to grill oysters is to set them, cup-side down, on a grill and allow them to cook until they open up just slightly before you pry away the top shell and add a pat of butter. This method allows the oysters to steam a bit in their own juices.
Ever the contrarians, my husband and I prefer a different approach. First, we shuck the oysters and then set them on a grill, cup-side down, dropping a spoonful of seasoned butter onto each oyster. Their juices will warm and begin to bubble, the butter will melt and baste the oysters as they cook and the smoke perfumes the delicate shellfish just enough to give them a wonderfully rich, meaty flavor.
Where to Find Sustainably-Farmed Oysters
Oysters are particularly nutrient-dense, rich in vitamins B12 and D as well as the minerals zinc and selenium while also being very low in mercury.
They are also sustainably farmed, taking relatively little space to produce large volumes of oysters, providing safety and shelter for other sea creatures, and they require no supplementary feed, only clean water.