Roasted Oysters with Parmigiano-Reggiano Rind Zabaglione
Townsman, Boston, MA
“As a chef, I have some core beliefs: Use the best ingredients possible. Create dishes that reflect the seasons. Support local producers and growers. Waste nothing. Every single piece of food has a use. We ferment melon rinds into kimchi, dehydrate leek tops and transform them into a spice blend, save woody herb stems to use as a place to rest meats after they come off the grill. So, while others might view cheese rinds as garbage, I see possibility. Sometimes they end up in a broth to pour over pasta. Sometimes they’re grated and added to whipped potatoes. Here you take leftover Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds and use them in a savory zabaglione to spoon over roasted oysters. These bites pair beautifully with Champagne; they’d be an elegant hors d’oeuvre for a New Year’s Eve celebration.” —Matt Jennings in his 2018 Beard Award–nominated Homegrown: Cooking from My New England Roots.
- 18 oysters, scrubbed well
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, grated
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 400°F. (Alternatively, the oysters can be roasted on a gas or charcoal grill; preheat the grill for direct, high-heat grilling.)
If using the oven, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, scrunching up the foil into irregular mounds to help hold the oysters in place. Place the oysters on the foil, cup-side down, arranging them so they are as flat as possible so none of their liquor spills out when the shells open. (If using the grill, place the oysters directly on the grates once the grill is up to temperature.) Roast the oysters in their shells until the shells have begun to open and you can see some steam escaping, about 8 minutes.
While the oysters roast, make the zabaglione: in a medium bowl, whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks. Set aside.
Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in a large saucepan. In a large nonreactive bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and wine. Season with salt and pepper. Set the bowl over the simmering water; make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened and gained volume, about 4 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk vigorously for another minute, then gently whisk in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano rind. Season with salt and pepper.
Gently whisk in one-third of the whipped cream to lighten the mixture, then add the remaining cream, whisking very gently to incorporate without overworking the sauce.
Remove the oysters from the oven. Preheat the broiler. Using an oyster knife, carefully remove and discard the top shells of each oyster, separating the meat from the shell and taking care not to spill the liquid in the bottom shell. Return the oysters (still in the bottom shell) to the baking sheet and spoon some zabaglione over each. Place under the broiler and broil just until the zabaglione has a hint of color, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the chives. Serve immediately.
Excerpted from Homegrown by Matt Jennings (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Huge Galdones.