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Baked Rappahannock River Oysters with Melted Leeks, Bacon, and Preserved Lemon


4 leeks

¼ pound bacon, diced small

1 tablespoon butter

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon or zest from a regular lemon

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

24 Rappahannock River oysters, shucked

Lemon wedges for serving

Coarse or rock salt (optional)


  1. Trim off green part of leeks and reserve for making stock or discard. Slice white part of leeks in half, and then cut thin slices from leeks into half moons. Wash and dry cut leeks well.
  2. Place bacon in a sauté pan set over medium heat and render bacon until crispy. Remove pan from heat and remove bacon from pan, leaving a small amount of bacon fat in pan.
  3. Add butter to fat in pan and return to medium heat. Add leeks and garlic. Season to taste and cook until leeks are wilted. Turn heat to low and cook until leeks are very soft and broken down.
  4. Remove from heat and add bacon back in. Fold in the preserved lemon and thyme. Set aside to cool.
  5. Heat oven to 400 degrees or fire up broiler.
  6. Top each oyster with a spoonful of leek mixture and place on baking sheet. Place in oven or under broiler for 5–10 minutes, or just until oyster and leek stuffing is hot. Serve with lemon wedges and cocktail forks.

Tips from Chef Fultineer

Placing coarse or rock salt on the baking tray will help prevent oysters from falling over. You can reuse salt again on a serving tray when serving oysters as it will help keep them hot.

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