Oysters with Champagne and Shallot Dressing

, from Issue #39. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Oysters with Champagne and Shallot Dressing

Use a Champagne or sparkling wine that you would serve to guests, as only a small amount is needed for the dressing and a glass of bubbly is the perfect accompaniment.


16 fresh oysters, chilled

2 tablespoons Champagne or chardonnay vinegar
5 tablespoons Champagne or Prosecco, chilled
1 tablespoon very finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon very finely diced cucumber
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To assemble
200 grams rock salt
16 Chinese soup spoons


Dressing: Combine the ingredients in a bowl and season.

To serve: Scatter the salt over a serving tray and nestle in the soup spoons. Place an oyster in each spoon and spoon over the dressing, making sure each oyster gets some of the shallot and cucumber. Serve immediately. Makes 16

Cook’s tip: For a real treat, buy fresh oysters in the shell. They should be tightly closed and smell briny and salty. Shuck the oysters or get your fishmonger to do this for you and place the oysters back in the half shell for serving. 

Pantry note: Champagne or chardonnay vinegar is a light, mildly flavoured vinegar available from delis or specialty food stores.