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
10 inch(+ -) round day old loaf of sourdough French bread
yellow onion, minced
leeks, white part only, minced
garlic, smashed, minced
fresh thyme leaves
frozen chopped spinach
whole eggs, 2 for spinach mixture, 2 for dredging the oysters
parmesan cheese, microplaned
salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut a "lid" off the top of the round loaf. Using your hands scoop out the insides from the bowl and lid.
Crumble the bread and toast in a 350 degree oven until completely dry and then pulverize in a food processor.
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.
Drain the spinach,squeeze out as much water as you can ,chop and saute until dry.
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.
Drain the oysters, dip in egg, then in bread crumbs and fry in butter.
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.
Put the lid on the bowl and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
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.
After you have sliced the loaf into portions, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap for traveling.