By David Harbilas
Oysters are such a forgiving ingredient that it’s a wonder it doesn’t appear on more restaurant menus.
The fact of the matter is that they’re difficult to work with–shucking them is no fun, especially in large quantities.
But their built in salinity and meaty texture makes them a perfect pairing for so many accompaniments.
Here, they are partnered with the freshest tomato available and pickled celery root, as well as fresh celery leaf, which is often thrown out rather than used for its delicate and fresh flavor.
- 8 oysters, shucked
- Â¼ cup finely diced celery root
- 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar Â¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ripe red tomato, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
- extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 8 leaves of celery from the heart of the bunch
To pickle the celery root, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil and pour over the diced celery root. Let cool to room temperature and remove from the liquid, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Place the diced tomato with the pickled celery root in a bowl and mix.
Season with any additional pickling liquid as needed and dress with a little extra virgin olive oil and black pepper. To serve, top each shucked oyster with a little of the tomato-celery root mixture and garnish with the celery leaves.