A freshly shucked oyster is full of salty iodine-rich liquid that tastes of the sea. Learning to open oysters is a simple skill that will improve the quality of your life. A quick flick of a stubby knife prises the shells apart to reveal the freshest of oysters. This simple dish matches the vitality and saltiness of the oyster with a sweet, green and slightly astringent cucumber sorbet, which leaves the palate cleansed and ready for the next morsel. It uses liquid glucose, a type of simple sugar available at some supermarkets, good food stores and chemists. To make things easier, we have included a surplus of ingredients to make the sorbet, so don’t be alarmed if you have some left over. This makes a surprisingly good dressing for sliced tomatoes or, with a little salt sprinkled on top, diced mango! But it keeps well in the freezer — the perfect excuse to buy more oysters.
Top, tail and peel the cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthways and gently scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Discard the seeds. Cut the cucumbers into rough chunks and purée in a blender for several minutes until completely smooth.
Measure the amount of cucumber purée. Add to the blender exactly half this amount of liquid glucose. Return the cucumber purée to the blender and blend for 1 minute. Season to taste with fine sea salt.
If you have an ice cream maker, make a sorbet following the manufacturer’s instructions. If not, use the following method. Transfer to a shallow metal tray and freeze, whisking every couple of hours, until the sorbet is frozen and has a smooth texture. Freeze for 5 hours or overnight. Soften in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
To serve, place the oysters on a layer of finely crushed ice or rock salt on a large serving plate or tray. Put 1 teaspoon of sorbet on top of each oyster, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salmon roe and drizzle with olive oil, if desired.
© 2007 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.