Bright red Piquillo peppers makes this dish a stand-out treat for your holiday table.
Serves 8-10 as an appetizer
- 8 piquillo peppers
- 2 arbol chilies, dried
- 1/2 tbsp cumin, finely ground
- 1/2 tbsp coriander, finely ground
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- 24 Small Hog Island Sweetwater Oysters
- Rock salt for broiling and serving
To prepare the Harissa, place piquillo peppers, arbol chilies, cumin, coriander, parsley, and garlic into a food processor and process on high. Slowly drizzle olive oil as needed to emulsify. It should have the consistency of a thick ketchup. Place Harissa sauce in a glass container with a lid or a squeeze bottle, and refrigerate. Can be made up to one week in advance and kept refrigerated.
To grill the oysters, shuck and remove top shell and loosen muscle from bottom shell. Keep oyster meat and liquor in the bottom shell and set aside on a clean baking sheet or plate. Put a single tablespoon or squeeze of Harissa sauce on each oyster. Place oysters directly on a medium-hot grill over open fire or in an oven-safe dish lined with 1/4 inch rock salt (to keep the shells level) and place under broiler. Grill, or broil, for approximately 5-7 minutes. Oysters are done once Harissa sauce is bubbling, and there is a slight curl along the edges, or gills, of the oysters. Oysters are delicate and will cook quickly. Keep an eye on the oysters after 4-5 minutes to watch for signs of being done. Serve oysters hot, on a platter lined with rock salt to keep oyster shells from tipping. Garnish with a sprinkle or sprig of freshly chopped parsley and serve with oyster forks or toothpicks on the side for easy eating. Enjoy!