Although you can essentially enjoy the briny bivalve all year round, it's widely known that oysters are best eaten in months that have a letter "R." Oysters are delicious on the half shell, but my favorite way to prepare them is casino-style. Bacon and butter make everything taste better! The best thing about this recipe is that it can be prepared in advance. The herb butter will keep for a couple of days in the fridge, and the bacon can be crisped the night before you plan to serve the oysters. Bake them just before eating. Offer the oysters with sparkling wine and you've got the perfect appetizer. Here's the uncomplicated recipe.
4 strips bacon Serves 4-6.
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup roughly chopped shallots
1/4 cup roughly chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped celery
2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves picked
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 teaspoons lemon zest and juice
1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 dozen large (approximately 4 inches) West Coast oysters on the half shell
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish
4 strips bacon