By Marge Perry & David Bonom
Legend has it this dish, created in 1899 in New Orleans, was named for the very wealthy John D. Rockefeller—because the sauce was nearly as rich as he. The dish has evolved over the years, but is most often made with minced green herbs or leaves, butter and breadcrumbs, baked over fresh shucked oysters in the half shell.
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1/3 cup chopped chives
- 3 tbsp Pernod
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Kosher salt
- 18 fresh oysters shucked, shells reserved
- 1é4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the spinach and arugula and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the chives and cook 30 seconds. Add the Pernod and breadcrumbs and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and salt; stir until butter melts. Transfer to a bowl and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Transfer the spinach mixture to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
- Sprinkle the kosher salt over a large shallow roasting pan to a depth of 1/2 inch. Arrange oysters in half shells on the salt. Top each oyster with some of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until spinach mixture browns on top, about 8-10 minutes.
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