The food of love… the perfect grilled oyster recipe!

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Oysters as food divide opinion like no other ingredient. Either you think they are a perfect, salty gift from Neptune – or that they should be in a specimen jar, not on your plate

The fact is that oysters are packed with zinc, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and vitamin B-12, as well as being low in fat and calories! If you want to be brave this Valentine’s Day and acquaint yourself with the ultimate food of love, then simply shucking and eating them raw with a squeeze of lemon is heavenly. However, if you prefer, they also taste delicious cooked – and here’s how to do it.

You’ll need a dozen best native oysters (they’re in season when there’s an ‘r’ in the month), and the finest come from the Essex coast. Many companies operating out of Essex deliver the next day if you order early enough.

12 native oysters
3 slices of slightly stale white bread
A dash of olive oil
A clove of garlic
A grind of salt and pepper
Juice of half a lemon
A handful of fresh coriander leaves, or parsley depending on your preference

Preheat the grill to 200°C. Take the bread, oil, garlic clove, salt, pepper, lemon juice and leafy herb and combine thoroughly in a food processor. Get your oysters out of the fridge and, taking care, remove the lids. Arrange them on a grill tray. Spoon a generous amount of the mixture onto each oyster, put them under the grill for five to six minutes, or until the mixture has browned and the edges of the oyster start to curl slightly. Serve immediately with a glass or three of ice-cold champagne.

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