When Marco Pierre White wrote (circa 90/91) that there has been nothing new in food in 300 years that was pretty much right at the time. Whilst we are posted this as a new oyster dish it is not and must be directly attributed to Roger Verge circa 1986. The addition of the glacé rind is ours and adds a delicious textural and flavour difference!

How many this recipe serves sort of depends on how much everyone loves oysters but, even though usually served as a starter, I never allow less than six per person or it can lead to terrible disappointment!

3 dozen closed oysters
3-6 cups rock salt

6 pink grapefruit
200g caster sugar
300g water
100g p/w shallots, finely chopped
100g Leonardi white balsamic
black pepper, freshly ground

Using a peeler thinly peel one of the grapefruit and with a sharp flexible knife remove all of the pith and julienne the rind. Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan and place it on high heat. Stir it just long enough to dissolve the sugar and then turn it to the lowest possible heat. Blanche the julienne rind in boiling water and without refreshing it drop it into the sugar syrup. Cook gently for a few minutes until the rind is translucent and then strain the rind from the syrup. The rind and syrup keeps indepinitely refrigerated in an airtight container.

to serve
Cover a large platter with the rock salt and reserving the oyster liquor for another purpose, shuck the oysters and sit them level in the salt. Finely segment the grapefruit (two or three slices per segment depending on how big the segments are) and squeeze the juice out into another bowl. When you have segmented all of the grapefruit strain the juice over the shallot and mix in.

Add a segment slither to each oyster, then a tiny amount of the shallot, season with a little more black pepper. Garnish with the rind and serve.

tip — on a hot day, if we are serving the oysters outside, we sit the oysters on an a crushed mix of equal quantities of salt and ice. Be warned not too far in advance [ best 30 minutes before] because this mix can freezer the oysters. Also delicious with plain grapefruit.

For more oyster recipes and ideas use the recipe index from the main navigation…always good to remember if you have an older group of guests that older guests on statins cannot eat grapefruit and it may be wise to either leave a few oysters just with the shallot or choose a completely different oyster dish.