Chef Pete Evans adds Iberian complexity to his dish. A traditional mignonette of shallots, black pepper, and vinegar gets a note of saffron and olive oil. Chorizo is a nod to the area’s Portuguese fisherman, and fennel is vital in Spanish cooking.
Oysters with Chorizo and Fennel
- 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped shallots or red onions
- Pinch of saffron threads
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
- 1 lb. cured chorizo sausage, cut diagonally into 1-1/2-inch pieces
- 1 lb. fennel bulbs (2 large), trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 24 Sydney rock oysters (substitute Wellfleet or Kumamoto), shucked with some liquor reserved, arranged on the half shell
- In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar and shallots. Crumble in the saffron, add 1 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and stir until the salt dissolves. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the olive oil until blended.
- Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil in 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
- Arrange the fennel and sausage on a plate. Spoon some of the vinaigrette into each oyster before serving, and use the remaining vinaigrette for dipping the sausage and fennel slices.