Holiday Entertaining | Pesto Broiled Oysters

When time is short, rely on the professionals! The fanciest offering on the buffet is the simplest to pull together with the help of a trusted fishmonger and a prepared pesto from the grocery refrigerated section. No one will be the wiser.

Large baking sheet with high lip, bottom covered with a layer of coarse or rock salt
Fresh oysters on the half-shell, shucked at the market
Prepared pesto
Grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh lemon zest (optional)

Preheat broiler.

Drain oyster liquid (reserve for another use), and pat tops slightly dry. Nestle into salt-lined baking sheet.

Spoon prepared pesto atop, blanketing each oyster in its shell.

Top each with a healthy scatter of grated Parmesan cheese, and fresh lemon zest, if using.
Broil under heating element on the top oven rack until topping begins to bubble and brown. Remove from heat and serve warm.  

Interested in making your own pesto? It's EASY. Toss a few handfuls of fresh basil,(I also add about a half handful of fresh mint to mine), a handful of pine nuts (or walnuts or almonds, or whatever), about a quarter cup Parmesan cheese, grated, into a food processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle a good-quality olive oil until the pesto is slightly thinner than a paste. Add salt to taste. I also add a tiny bit of lemon juice to keep the flavors bright. It's optional.

Also, you can make something like a pesto (pesto, for us purists, is made with only the ingredients above, but we've co-opted the name to stand for anything, almost, that's whirled together with some nuts. You'll learn more about that here) by substituting, in part or wholly, healthy greens for the fresh herbs. Try this Farmers Market Favorite Collard Greens Pesto, and enjoy the added benefit of a healthy, wealthy new Year, according to custom
This week on Notes from Maggie's Farm, look for quick tips for easy holiday entertaining with recipes like these Pesto Broiled Oysters, As well as Balsamic Red Onion Confit, Sweet & Savory Spiced NutsCitrus-Spiced Olives, and a sparkling Ambrosia Cocktail you'll find posted on New Year's Eve, Also, consider centering your snacks around Knockout Cheese & Charcuterie board, and learn how to build one here, just in time to ring in the new year in style!

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