Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
31 Dec

Raw Oysters Garnished with Savory Lemon Granita

oystergranita2The holiday season is filled with such heavy fare that by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around it’s natural to be craving something a little lighter. It’s also natural to feel less enthusiastic about heading into the kitchen to cook yet another feast. A seafood extravaganza solves both dilemmas, especially if your main course is a platter of raw oysters.

Slurping a dozen raw oysters down is the culinary equivalent of taking a traditional New Year’s Day polar bear plunge. The crisp, clean, invigorating flavor of oysters makes one feel strong and alert and happy to be alive. They require little to no preparation, yet can be the centerpiece of even the most extravagant celebrations. If you’re going the casual route, that’s fine too. Raw oysters are appropriate whether you’re ringing in the New Year wearing a tuxedo and formal gown or shorts and flip-flops.

However you celebrate, there’s nothing wrong with cracking open the shell and simply eating the oysters in their briny juice. If you want to up the experience however, garnishing the oysters with a tiny spoonful of icy lemon granita will make the meal extra special. Partially frozen lemon juice seasoned with a hint of savory sea salt, black pepper and red onion is outrageously good with raw oysters. The oyster is not overwhelmed by the jolt of lemon, rather, the two flavors blend perfectly as they go down.

The slushy granita melts quickly, so add it right before you eat the oyster. As you bring the open shell that cradles the little creature towards your mouth, you’ll get a whiff of fresh lemon and seawater. Your palate will be hit with a hint of salt, a tingle of pepper and red onion and a fresh burst of ice-cold lemon. And then…Slurp! Gulp! The oyster is gone. Plan to eat at least a 1/2 dozen yourself; the flavor is so delicious but so subtle and fleeting that you’ll want to experience it over and over again.

Ingredients:

ingredients 31

This will make enough lemon granita for several dozen raw oysters. It goes without saying that the oysters should be as fresh as possible. Ideally, buy them only 24 hours before serving. Keep the oysters refrigerated but not submerged in water. Open the shells right before eating. Setting the open shells on a bed of crushed ice keeps them cold and keeps the shells from tipping and spilling out the natural juice. To shuck an oyster, you’ll need an oyster knife.

oyster shells

How to shuck an oyster: First scrub any dirt from the shell under cold water. Next, hold a folded kitchen towel in one hand to cradle the shell and protect your hand from the knife if it slips. Hold the oyster with the rounded side down, facing your palm. Examine the shell and notice there is a hinged point where the upper and lower shells connect. Wedge your oyster knife down into the hinge and turn it with a little bit of pressure to pop the shell open. Slide the knife between the two shells to fully open it up. Remove the upper shell.

raw oyster

Savory Lemon Granita

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

Instructions:

Mix together the lemon juice, water, salt and pepper. Pour into a dish that allows the liquid spread out and become shallow, such as a 2-quart square baking dish.

granita juice

Put the dish into the freezer for 30 minutes, then mix and rake with a fork. Keep the lemon juice in the freezer for another 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes with a fork. Mixing the lemon juice with the fork keeps the texture slushy and insures that the liquid doesn’t freeze solid.

slushy granita

Remove the granita from the freezer. Stir in the red onion. Spoon a small amount of the lemon granita into a raw oyster shell before eating.

oystergranita2

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I love cooked oysters. Raw? Nope, not going there. But, hey, enjoy if you like them.

    Harry Mossman wrote on December 31st, 2011
  2. Can’t wait to try this

    Colin wrote on December 31st, 2011
  3. That sounds incredibly delicious!

    Becky wrote on December 31st, 2011
  4. Oooh, how I wish you’d posted this a day or two earlier! I don’t think the seafood store is still open here….. Maybe next week!

    deb wrote on December 31st, 2011
  5. I could eat them over and over…as they would keep coming back up…YUCK!

    Dusty wrote on December 31st, 2011
    • That’s nice! Thanks for sharing!

      I’m curious. Did you read the article first, or did you just scroll directly down to the comments section to deposit your two smelly, asinine cents on the ground in front of the rest of us?

      What really annoys me is all the NOPE-NOT-GONNA-NO-WAYS on here telling us how much they hate foods that are the least bit strange, from the recipes on here — without even trying it. Good for you! Now go away!

      If you have nothing nice or constructive to say, you know where the ‘back’ button is.

      toaster for sale wrote on December 31st, 2011
      • Tried the slimy things many times. Back when i was young i even tried them while I was drunk….Yes…YUCK!

        Dusty wrote on December 31st, 2011
      • Having a bad day?

        Tony wrote on December 31st, 2011
        • i ditto @toaster.
          this is a good article providing alternatives w/easy to make, yet nutritious, food.
          ‘back’ button is always easier to use if we dislike things.
          (on my way to the seafood market to get some oysters)
          :)

          . raul wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  6. This would be a good use for the meyer lemons on my tree.

    toaster for sale wrote on December 31st, 2011
  7. My favorite. Delicious.

    shaun wrote on December 31st, 2011
  8. Can’t wait to try the Lemon Granita ! That is going to be a favorite, especially after my Meyer trees start producing.

    Orannhawk wrote on December 31st, 2011
  9. Where do you develop your recipes?? Can I sign up to be a taste tester? :D I especially wouldn’t mind testing these for you!

    Jasmina wrote on December 31st, 2011
  10. so very cool!

    PaleoDentist wrote on December 31st, 2011
  11. Oh yum, I do like me some raw oysters. When I was a wee kid I had the opportunity to eat raw shellfish minutes out of the water that I’d gotten myself, near the outer banks. I still smile when I remember that my older brother was too scared to eat them. And that a scallop squirted him in the eye.

    Kate wrote on December 31st, 2011
  12. Never tried oysters before, but never saw such a colourful description of eating them either! I’ve been persuaded :)

    Tony wrote on December 31st, 2011
  13. I wonder what adding a bit of fresh horseradish would be like? Might have to try it both ways.

    BobthePhotoGuy wrote on December 31st, 2011
  14. Never tried them raw. This is one of the things I will have to try this year.

    It’s a bit of a yuck factor, but I will try them. :)

    Onge wrote on January 1st, 2012
  15. Yummo!!

    KL (almostGrok'd) wrote on January 1st, 2012
  16. Mmmm… I love raw oysters. Never had one cooked, but they’re so good raw that I never bothered. I especially love a drop or two of hot sauce with some lemon on my oysters. To those of you who don’t like the taste, the hot sauce might change your minds. To those of you who don’t like the texture….whatever – more for me!

    Maryanne wrote on January 1st, 2012
  17. Lucked out and had the ingredients on hand…made this last night and the granita was AMAZING! I found myself eating the icy yumminess after the oysters were gone…

    PS-the people who are posting negative things about this sound remarkably similar to the 7th graders I teach…Ewww! Icky!! Gross!!…Really?! Why bother to post!

    Will wrote on January 1st, 2012
  18. Already brought in the New Year with raw oysters and dirty martinis might have to go for round two this week

    Andy wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  19. I think I ate about a ton of oysters and whelks and raw seafood on holiday in France…it was awesome!

    Milla wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  20. Yuck, total yuck.

    I know, I know … “When’s the last time you tried them.” “Try them again, with an open mind.”

    NFW.

    There’s some Primal food I feel this way about. But I’m still glad I’m Primal.

    :-)

    Susan Alexander wrote on January 3rd, 2012
  21. No fresh oysters here in Minnesota. :( I bet the lemon granita would go great with fish though???

    rdzins wrote on January 5th, 2012
  22. ok guys, nothing is wrong if someone expresses displeasure in something here. they are saying “YUCK, I hate the taste of oysters” not “YUCK I hate this article” i for one found the article was nice, the pictures were nice, but i hate oysters, so i would not be giving this a try. I have tried oysters all ways, and it is just not for me.

    and also, this is a comment board, and there is nothing saying that a person can only comment if they are leaving a comment that “you” like, as long as they are not being ridiculously mean to anyone.

    izz wrote on January 6th, 2012
  23. Raw oysters may be delicious, but they can also be a quick ticket to the porcelain throne. After getting a terrible case of norovirus from merely undercooked oysters at a fancy Japanese restaurant, raw oysters are off my list of edibles, permanently. Nothing tastes good enough to justify that much pain.

    Jenrose wrote on January 19th, 2012

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