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Oysters, Saffron-Pickled Cucumbers, Aleppo
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 dozen dressed oysters
Prep Time: 25 minutes (plus 1 hour cooling, 6 hours chilling)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes (plus 1 hour cooling, 6 hours chilling)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ English cucumber, two opposite sides peeled and cucumber sliced into ⅛-inch strips, stacked and then sliced crosswise into ⅛-inch matchsticks
2 pinches saffron threads
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 cups kosher salt
½ teaspoon Aleppo chile
1. Pickle the cucumbers: In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the vinegar, water, garlic, salt and sugar to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cucumber matchsticks and saffron. Transfer the cucumbers and the pickling liquid to a bowl and set aside for 1 hour at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.
2. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the cucumber pickling liquid to a medium bowl. Drain the chilled cucumbers (save the pickling liquid for another use) and toss them with the reserved pickling liquid and the dill.
3. To a medium bowl, add the salt and enough cold water to create the consistency of wet sand. Turn the mixture out onto a platter. Shuck the oysters (click here for a gif) and nestle each one into the salt bed. Top each oyster with some of the pickled cucumbers and pickling liquid and finish with a pinch of Aleppo chile and a few drops of chile oil.