This dish was given the name Rockefeller because the green is the color of greenbacks and the whole dish is extremely rich. According to legend, it was a customer at Antoine’s restaurant in New Orleans who exclaimed with delight after eating this dish, “Why, this is as rich as Rockefeller!”
2 dozen oysters on the half shell
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 shallots, chopped fine
6 tablespoons fresh spinach, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Pernod
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Tabasco to taste
lemon wedges, for garnish
- Using an oyster knife, pry open the oyster shells and remove oysters. Discard the top shells; scrub and dry the bottom shells. Drain oysters and reserve the oyster liquor.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter; add spinach, shallots, parsley, bread crumbs, Tabasco sauce, Pernod and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Press the spinach mixture through a sieve or food mill. Let cool.
- Place an oyster in each shell and add a little of the reserved oyster liquor on each oyster. Spoon an equal amount of the prepared spinach mixture over each oyster and spread to the rim of the shell.
- Broil about 5 minutes or until the edges of the oysters have curled and the topping is bubbling.
- Garnish the plates with parsley and lemon wedges. Serve at once.