Photo by Food Thinkers


  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots, or green onions if shallots are not available (as a matter of fact, in New Orleans they call green onions “shallots”)
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chervil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cayenne
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 1/3 cup Pernod
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 dozen oysters on the half shell

This recipe contains: Dairy, Shellfish, Wheat


Oysters Rockefeller

James Beard

Author and Educator

In his reissued classic American Cookery, James Beard features what he deems an authentic version of this New Orleans dish. In general, the most sustainable oysters are farmed and can come from most anywhere in the world.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Sauté the shallots, celery, herbs, and seasonings in 3 tablespoons of the butter for 3 minutes. Add the watercress and let it wilt. Scrape into a blender, add the Pernod, and blend for 1 minute. Combine with the crumbs and remaining butter. Season well. Arrange the oysters on beds of rock salt in metal containers, which may be carried to the table. Dampen the salt lightly. Spoon about 1 good teaspoonful of the mixture on each oyster. Bake at 450ºF for about 4 minutes, or just long enough for the oysters and sauce to heat through.