Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell with Grilled Proscuitto and Mignonette

Author Eva Kosmas Flores


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons red onions very finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 oysters in their shells
  • 1 2-ounce chunk of proscuitto (You do not want to get it sliced, you want it in one big piece. You can purchase it this way at an Italian deli or a Whole Foods.)
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole peppercorns for garnish


  1. First, tend to your oysters. Place them in a large bowl filled with cold water and use a brush to scrub off any loose particles on the outside of the shell. Rinse them well and discard the water they were submerged in. Place them on a platter in the refrigerator with the deep-cup side of the shell facing down and cover with a cool damp towel.
  2. Now you can make the mignonette. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the parsley and olive oil (doing so keeps the fresh herbs from browning as quickly). Then whisk in the onion, lemon juice and zest, chile, salt, and pepper. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
  3. Ignite a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to high heat. When the grill is hot, scrape off your grill rack to ensure it is clean. Then, if you are using a gas grill, decrease the heat to medium high. Wipe down your grill rack with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Lay the chunk of proscuitto on the grill and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until there are visible grill marks. Remove it from the grill and allow it to cool while you prepare the oysters.
  5. Make sure your gas grill is hot or that your coals are glowing bright red. Wipe down the oysters with a towel and place them on the grill rack. When all 25 oysters are on the grill, close the grill lid and allow to cook until you hear the oysters popping open, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Remove the oysters from the grill with a pair of tongs and snap off the top shell, taking care to keep the juice in the bottom shell from splashing out. Use an oyster knife to gently release the oyster from the bottom of the shell, still taking care not to spill any liquid. Set the oysters aside.
  7. Cut the proscuitto into strips about 1/4 inch thick and 3/4 inch long. Fill a few serving dishes with crushed ice and sprinkle the peppercorns over it for a garnish. Carefully transfer the oysters, still resting in their half shells, onto the bed of ice and top each one with a few slices of grilled proscuitto. Spoon the mignonette over each half shell, and keep the remaining mignonette in a bowl to be passed around for extra drizzling. Serve immediately.