Baked Oysters with Mustard Greens and Bacon

If you do not have young mustard greens, use a mixture of half watercress and half spinach, boiled together for 1 minute, drained, squeezed dry, and finely chopped.

Ingredients

  • ¼ pound apple- or hickory-smoked bacon, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 hot chile pepper, seeded, finely chopped
  • 4 cups young mustard greens, washed, drained, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 24 oysters on the half-shell (Bluepoint, Pemaquid, or Apalachicola)
  • 1 cup coarse white bread crumbs, from 1- or 2 -day-old French bread, crusts removed

Method

Preheat the oven to 500°F.

Cook the bacon in a large dry sauté pan over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is almost crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Add the onion to the bacon fat in the pan and cook over medium-low heat until very soft but not brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, and chile and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the mustard greens, lemon zest and juice, cooked bacon, and butter. Toss together for about 1 minute to combine. Season the greens with salt and pepper.

Place a little mound of the dressed greens on each oyster. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Put the oysters on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the crumbs are golden and the oysters are heated through, about 5 minutes.