Oyster, Eggplant, and Tasso Gratin


This recipe for oyster, eggplant, and tasso gratin is courtesy of chef Susan Spicer.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dishes

  • 1 pint shucked oysters in their liquor

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken broth or milk

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Hot sauce

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 medium to large eggplant, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 ounces finely chopped tasso (about 3 tablespoons)

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

  • Cheesy Breadcrumb Topping


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 4 individual shallow baking dishes.

  2. Drain oysters into a large bowl, reserving liquor. Check oysters for any pieces of shell and discard. Strain liquor through a fine mesh sieve; set aside.

  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, then add reserved oyster liquor and broth or milk. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Whisk in cream and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, pepper, hot sauce, and nutmeg. Remove mixture from heat; cover sauce to keep warm.

  4. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion, tasso, and garlic; stir in sage and rosemary. Cook until eggplant is tender and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper; transfer mixture to a colander; let stand to drain excess oil, about 5 minutes.

  5. Spread mixture evenly in baking dishes; top with an even layer of oysters. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle over breadcrumb topping. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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