' Try Your Hand at Making This Truly Virginia Eastern Shore Oyster Appetizer - Chatham Vineyards on Church Creek



Try Your Hand at Making This Truly Virginia Eastern Shore Oyster Appetizer

Sharing a recipe favorite of Jon and Mills Wehner, vintners at Chatham Vineyards on Church Creek. Pair these delicious oysters with Chatham’s Steel or Oak Chardonnay for a truly delightful culinary experience!


One tip from the chef: Eat immediately or the magic will be lost.


Oysters Virginia

Recipe that appears in Bernie Herman’s “A South You Never Ate” from Walter Bundy, chef and owner at Shagbark in Richmond


Walter notes, "This recipe was designed to utilize local products throughout Virginia to enhance the flavor of oysters grown on the Eastern Shore. In this recipe, we use Shooting Point Oysters, which are absolutely delicious. The oysters are raised in the bay and finished in the ocean. This creates an oyster that is fruity and delicate with a nice salty finish. Additional local ingredients provide a unique flavor profile that creates a dish that is truly Eastern Shore of Virginia.”


Makes 12 roasted oysters.


  • 12 Shooting Point Oysters or other seaside salty oysters
  • 3 slices (1/4-inch-thick) of Edwards Virginia Smokehouse hickory-smoked bacon or any smoky slab bacon from a butcher shop, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced very thin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 big handfuls baby spinach, washed and dried
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup toasted breadcrumbs (homemade or panko-style)
  • Lemon wedges and your favorite hot sauce (optional)




Clean the oyster shells by scrubbing them under cold water. Shuck the oysters one at a time with care, being sure to remove pieces of chipped shell, sand or dirt from inside of the oyster. Cut the muscle, freeing the oyster from its shell. Gently flip the oyster over in its shell so the smooth side is facing up and place in a casserole dish.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.


Place the bacon in a large sauté pan and cook over medium heat. When the bacon is crispy, drain the rendered fat from the pan and discard. This lets the bacon flavors come through and avoids any greasiness in the dish. Add the butter, shallots and chili flakes to the bacon and continue to cook until the shallots are translucent.


Add the garlic and cook until lightly golden. Toss the spinach into the pan, add the win and allow the spinach to wilt slightly. Season with salt if desired – remember oysters from the ocean are pretty salty! Transfer the bacon and spinach mixture to a plate lined with paper towels.


Top each oyster with a heaping tablespoon of the bacon and spinach mixture and a generous sprinkle of the cheese.


Roast the oysters for 7-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned.


Sprinkle each oyster with the breadcrumbs and serve with lemon wedges and/or hot sauce, if desired.

Post By:   Amanda Shortt
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