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Broiled Oysters With Smoked Paprika and Peach

I love to pair something a little sweet with oysters. The salty punch of the oyster liquor is well balanced with the aromatic sweetness of the peach and the slight bite of the paprika. This dish is great to cook over the grill if you are entertaining outside.


Serves 4 as an appetizer
16 oysters, washed thoroughly
1 large peach, diced into ¼ inch pieces
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
4 tablespoons butter
Pre-heat the broiler to high

For the oysters, open each one and discard the top shell. Slice the oyster free of the bottom shell so that the oyster is sitting freely in the shell. Reserve as much of the liquor as possible by placing the opened oysters on a bed of salt on a broiler pan.


For the peach topping heat the butter with the paprika over medium heat for three minutes. Mix the infused butter with the diced peaches and toss to combine. Cook for another 4 minutes until the peaches begin to soften. Place a spoonful of the peach mixture on top of each oyster and place under the broiler. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the edges of the oysters begin to curl and the peaches are slightly browned.


Serve immediately

About Farmed Oysters

Eating farmed oysters is our patriotic duty! They’re not only sustainable, they also help to restore depleted ecosystems. Unlike most farm-raised seafood, which can wreak devastating effects on their wild brethren if they escape, oysters help to replenish wild populations and are among the most important foundations of coastal habitats. Like mussels and clams, oysters are filter feeders, filtering water through their bodies and removing tiny bits of nutrients. This helps to keep the waters clean, which then enables sunlight to reach the seafloor. The sunlight spurs plant growth, and the plants enable the young of many ocean species to hide from predators, which leads to a healthy ecosystem.


When filter feeders are absent—either because too many were caught and eaten or because they were killed by an environmental disaster (like an oil spill)—the waters get murky and the ecosystem falls apart. Oysters are considered a keystone species, or a species that holds together the whole intricate framework of the environment.


Farmed oysters provide a great opportunity for watermen to make a living. In many areas where oysters are a traditional source of income, farming the seas is one of the only options still remaining. These fishing communities would otherwise disappear, their residents moving away to find other jobs. But oysters keep families working and build hope for the future. So, I tell you again, save the world and eat an oyster. Environmentalism on the half shell, with lemon and Tabasco!

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Ocean Topics

Barton Seaver, Chef/Conservationist

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    Barton Seaver is a chef who has dedicated his career to restoring the relationship we have with our ocean. It is his belief that the choices we are making for dinner are directly impacting the ocean and its fragile ecosystems.

Watch Barton's TED Talk: Sustainable Seafood? Let's Get Smart »

Seafood Resources

Support the Ocean

Engage, Conserve, Restore

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    Freshwater Initiative

    The National Geographic Society’s freshwater initiative is a multi-year global effort to inspire and empower individuals and communities to conserve freshwater and preserve the extraordinary diversity of life that rivers, lakes, and wetlands sustain.