The oyster lies encased inside a rippled hard shell, a slight oval with delicate, fluted edges. Ranging in flavor from dusky and briny to creamy and smoky, the tender flesh and subtle flavorings of the oyster makes it the most tantalizing of shellfish. The Romans claimed that oysters had aphrodisiac qualities, and though we can’t be sure, we do know that eating them at home makes it much easier to tell whether their mythic powers are real...
Buy a dozen or two from your local fish market and arrange them on a cold platter of ice with wedges of lemon. They’re wonderful with a simple mignonette sauce.
For a glamorous touch, top the oysters with a dab of crème fraiche and a dollop of caviar. Serve with flutes of chilled champagne.
There is nothing so simple and effective as using fresh herbs to liven up your cooking. From lavender to basil to rosemary, fresh herbs have long been known for their ability to arouse and electrify the senses.
Toss chopped herbs into a green salad. Sprinkle lavender salt over your grilled meats. Heap sprigs of dark green rosemary on your platters. Wherever you incorporate fresh herbs, you’re sure to increase the “wow” factor.
These voluptuous red globes have long been a symbol of fertility; filled with tart, sweet, jewel-like seeds, they are at once simple and exquisite. It has been suggested that perhaps the pomegranate was the apple that Eve ate, and we understand the temptation. During these holiday months, we like to scatter them on a table for décor or pile them into a bowl on a side table. But the best part is breaking them open and extracting the seeds, which inevitably leads to sticky red fingers….
Sprinkle the seeds over a salad; decorate a dessert plate with them; or simply eat them plain.
The juice of pomegranates makes a tangy, ruby-purple sauce when slowly reduced… try drizzling it over vanilla ice cream for an amazing treat.