Safety Gloves for the hand that will steady the oyster to shuck them.
24oysters in their shell
FOR THE SPINACH TOPPING:
1large whole shallot minced
½teaspoon Diamond kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon Morton's kosher salt
pinchcrushed red pepper flakes
2tablespoonspernod, pastis or vermouth
FOR THE BUTTERED PARMESAN BREADCRUMBS:
2slicesslices sturdy sourdoughcrusts removed
½cupgrated parmesan cheeseor pecorino romano
FOR THE SPINACH TOPPING
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until foamy. Add the garlic and stir, cooking for one minute until fragrant.
Add the shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes until they're softened and translucent, but not browning. Turn the heat down if they start to brown.
Add the spinach, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Toss the spinach into the butter mixture using tongs. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt.
Deglaze the pan with the pernod and cook until most of the liquor has evaporated. Set aside.
FOR THE BREADCRUMBS:
Tear the bread into small pieces and transfer to the food processor. Pulse several times until you have fine breadcrumbs.
Add the butter and pulse again to combine.
Add the parmesan cheese and parsley. Pulse several more times until the parsley is finely chopped and the mixture is well combined. Set aside.
PREHEAT THE OVEN:
Heat the oven to 450°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with enough rock salt to form a bed to hold the oyster shells steady and upright. Set aside.
SHUCK THE OYSTERS:
Put on your safety glove (preferably something rubberized and sturdy to help you hold the oyster steady.)
Look at the oyster to determine which side is the "cup" side and which is the "flat flap". Rest the oyster, cup side down, on a cutting board or work surface and hold it firmly on the board with the "hinge" area exposed.
Insert the oyster shucker into the hinge (umbo) and gently wiggle back and forth until you feel the knife slip into the hinge. Turn the knife to break the hinge.
Work carefully so you don't spill the oyster brine.
Wipe any debris from the oyster knife (so you don't get any detritus into the meat or brine) and run the knife flat along the top shell to detach the muscle from the shell.
Run the oyster knife under the oyster to cut the adductor muscle and separate the oyster from the shell.
ASSEMBLE OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER:
Carefully place the oysters on the bed of rock salt in such a way that the oyster is propped up and no briny liquid escapes.
Top each oyster with 1 rounded teaspoon of the spinach mixture, followed by the buttered breadcrumbs.
Transfer the oysters to the preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and hot. Serve immediately.