The Ocean

Recipes From Barton Seaver

Pair the delicious recipes below from chef and National Geographic Fellow, Barton Seaver, with a bottle of 2008 Ocean Reserve wine.



For more wine-pairing recipes from Barton Seaver, visit the I Am the Ocean wine page featuring Iron Horse Vineyards' 2007 Ocean Reserve wine.

Buy a Bottle

2008 Ocean Reserve


Chardonnay Salt

Recipe from Where There’s Smoke (Sterling Epicure, April 2013), pg. 32


Wine salts are a fun way to season just about anything on the grill to help match it to the wine you are drinking. Use these salts just as you would regular salt or any of the meat-specific salts. These work just as well on meats as they do on vegetables and are a way to introduce complementary flavors to speak to the wines.


2 tablespoons kosher salt
Pinch ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Finely shredded zest of ½ orange
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh tarragon

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, gently bruising the tarragon leaves to release their aromatic oils. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes; use within a few hours.



Cucumber and Buttermilk Soup

Recipe from Where There’s Smoke (Sterling Epicure, April 2013), pg. 79

1.5 pounds cucumbers, ends trimmed
Juice of 1 lime
½ bunch of fresh dill
2 cups buttermilk
Kosher salt
Hot sauce or extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Roughly chop the cucumbers and place them in a blender. Add the lime juice, dill, buttermilk, and a good pinch of salt. Puree on high speed until the soup is smooth and creamy. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Pour the soup into an airtight container and chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.


Ladle the soup into bowls and top it with a drizzle of hot sauce or olive oil, depending on your preference. Both are good!


Grilled Oysters with Smoked Lemon Aioli

Recipe from Where There’s Smoke (Sterling Epicure, April 2013), pg. 182


1 lemon
1 large egg yolk
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Pinch of ground mace
1 clove garlic
2 cups canola oil
36 deep cupped oysters, scrubbed well

For the aioli, place the whole lemon in the coals of a medium fire flavored with fruitwood and roast until it is soft and oozing its juice, about 20 minutes. Or grill 2 lemon halves directly over the coals until deeply caramelized, turning to cook the skin side for a few minutes as well. Let the lemon cool to room temperature.


Squeeze the grilled lemon into a blender and add the more roasted half of the lemon peel (yes, the entire lemon half, peel and all). Add the egg yolk, a pinch of salt, the maple syrup, mace, and garlic. Blend on low speed to make a thick paste. Still on low speed, begin to add the canola oil until all of it has been incorporated. The texture should be smooth but thick, just slightly thinner than jarred mayonnaise. Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed or up to 2 days (any longer than that, and the garlic flavor gets too strong).


Have an oyster knife and thick towel at hand. Place 9 whole oysters with the deep cup side down on the BBQ Oyster Grill or on the grill grate directly over the coals of a large fire. As the oysters cook, they will begin to spot their liquor; this means they’re ready. As this happens, remove the cooked oyster and replace it with a new one.


Hold the cooked oyster with the towel and insert the knife in the small opening between the shells. Run the knife along the top shell to release it and then discard. Use the knife to cut under the oyster in a scooping motion to sever the bottom muscle. Top each oyster with a dollop of cold aioli, and eat hot (and cold) right away. Continue until all the oysters are eaten, but expect your guests to be a little disappointed when they are gone!


Barton Seaver, Chef/Conservationist

  • Photo: Barton Seaver

    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.


    Read Barton's full bio >>

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