My family can’t order “off menu” in Chinatown, but we can in Provincetown, at venerable Cape Cod institution The Lobster Pot, where we’ve been going for my whole life. My father always orders a dish called “oysters pesto,” even though it inexplicably disappeared from the menu over a decade ago. The Lobster Pot’s pesto is cheesier and creamier than most, and I’ve done my best to pay homage to it here.
1 densely packed cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup pine nuts
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
Squeeze of lemon
Salt to taste
½ cup olive oil
1 dozen oysters, shucked and kept on the half-shell
Preheat the broiler.
In a food processor, add the basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon, salt and half of the olive oil. Pulse gently while adding the rest of the olive oil in a steady stream from above. Continue pulsing until the oil is fully incorporated and the pesto is the desired creamy consistency.
Place the oysters onto a 13- by 9-inch rimmed baking sheet and top each with a generous dollop of pesto. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the pesto is bubbling and slightly browned on top.
LUKE PYENSON is a food and travel writer, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer based in New York City. You can see examples of his work at www.lukepyenson.com.