Oysters Rockefeller

Legend has it this dish, created in 1899 in New Orleans, was named for the very wealthy John D. Rockefeller—because the sauce was nearly as rich as he. The dish has evolved over the years, but is most often made with minced green herbs or leaves, butter and breadcrumbs, baked over fresh shucked oysters in the half shell.

Yield: 18 oysters

Servings: 6


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives
  • 3 tablespoons Pernod
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Kosher salt
  • 18 fresh oysters, shucked, shells reserved
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the spinach and arugula and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the chives and cook 30 seconds. Add the Pernod and breadcrumbs and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and salt; stir until butter melts. Transfer to a bowl and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Transfer the spinach mixture to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
  4. Sprinkle the kosher salt over a large shallow roasting pan to a depth of 1/2 inch. Arrange oysters in half shells on the salt. Top each oyster with some of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until spinach mixture browns on top, about 8-10 minutes.