January 22, 2010

Author Notes: No...I don't mean tamales, the Mexican food . Tomales is a town and a bay out in West Marin, north of San Francisco (about 60 miles). My family was among the first residents of Tomales in the 1860s. When I was young there were many oyster beds in the bay...now very few, but very good. Hog Island Oyster Company produces delicious oysters. This recipe is a my interpretation of a recipe that is a favorite in Marin County homes and restaurants. dymnyno

Serves: about 2 dozen oysters


  • 2 dozen medium or large oysters (at least 6 for each person)
  • 1 lb baby spinach, washed and dryed
  • 1 tbs butter (for sauteeing spinach)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup grated gruyere (loose )
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 tbs green onions (fine chop) with a little of the green part
  • pepper to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Put the butter in a suitable sized pan and saute the spinach until wilted. Drain and dry as much as you can. Then chop it up.
  2. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cheese, lemon juice, cognac, onions, and garlic.
  3. Using a half oyster shell as a base, put a tbs of spinach in the bottom of the shell.
  4. Add a freshly shucked oyster on top of the spinach.
  5. Put about 1 tbs of the cheese sauce on top of each oyster.
  6. Heat a broiler.
  7. Make a bed of rock salt on a baking pan to put the oysters on and to keep them from tipping over.
  8. Put the baking pan under the broiler about 4-5 inches from the broiler element so that the oysters cook and the topping sauce melts. When the cheese sauce is bubbling they are ready.

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Lemon Juice|Mayonnaise|Oyster|Seafood|Winter|Entree