November 19, 2012
2 Ratings
  • Makes 1 10 inch loaf
Author Notes

Briny oysters, spinach and sourdough bread are meant to be together. Supposedly the oyster loaf was invented in San Francisco during the gold rush. It was an ingenious invention of the traveling meal. There is a case of sorts that New Orleans was the home of the original oyster loaf. Whatever the origins the San Francisco version has the advantage of also being the home of sourdough bread. The first time that I ever had an oyster loaf was lunch during a hike in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, my favorite place in the world. Also, perfect for a picnic at the beach. —dymnyno

What You'll Need
  • 1 10 inch(+ -) round day old loaf of sourdough French bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup leeks, white part only, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, smashed, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pound frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 pound oysters (jar)
  • 4 whole eggs, 2 for spinach mixture, 2 for dredging the oysters
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, microplaned
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Cut a "lid" off the top of the round loaf. Using your hands scoop out the insides from the bowl and lid.
  2. Crumble the bread and toast in a 350 degree oven until completely dry and then pulverize in a food processor.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and paint the insides of the bowl and lid and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until starting to toast.
  4. Drain the spinach,squeeze out as much water as you can ,chop and saute until dry.
  5. Saute the onion, leeks, thyme with butter until soft and add to the spinach. Taste and add salt and pepper. Cool and mix in the parmesan cheese and two beaten eggs.
  6. Drain the oysters, dip in egg, then in bread crumbs and fry in butter.
  7. To assemble: Into the bread bowl, add a layer of spinach, then a layer of oysters, then a layer of spinach and a final lay of oysters.
  8. Put the lid on the bowl and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  9. Cool slightly and cut into wedges. Can be served either warm or cold. A hit of Tabasco adds a little heat. This sandwich is wonderful the second day after all the flavors have had time to meld together.
  10. After you have sliced the loaf into portions, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap for traveling.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Burf
  • EmilyC
  • ChefJune
  • fiveandspice
  • inpatskitchen

6 Reviews

okaykate June 17, 2017
this seriously looks so good - except I don't like oysters. Any thoughts on a good substitution? everything else about this speaks to me... thanks!
Burf December 28, 2015
Whoa! I had no idea something like this existed! Thanks for the recipe!!
EmilyC June 19, 2013
This looks so good.
ChefJune June 19, 2013
This sounds almost unbearably yummy, but somehow I don't think of fish when I'm packing food for a road trip.
fiveandspice June 18, 2013
Wow. This sandwich could be enough to make me actually like road-tripping. Delcious.
inpatskitchen November 20, 2012