Oysters aren't all that expensive, but they make people feel like you went big. And throwing all those shells onto the grill is an impressive way to kick off the evening. Grilling them also takes shucking out of the equation: They steam open, letting you pop off the lids without a hassle.
• 24 oysters (or 3 per guest)
• 2 oz chunk prosciutto, not sliced
For the mignonette
• 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley
• 3 tbsp red onion, diced
• 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp grated lemon zest
• 1/4 tsp red-pepper flakes
• 1//4 tsp coarse sea salt
• 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Make the mignonette by combining oil and parsley, and then adding the other ingredients. Refrigerate.
Clean oysters by immersing in cold water. Drain and refrigerate, cupped side down and covered with a damp towel.
Grill prosciutto in one piece, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Cut into 3/4x1/4-inch sticks. Let cool.
Place oysters on grill, in a spot where they're easy to pull off. "Only put on as many as you can take off quickly," says Chiarello. "And don't start bullshitting with your buddies – they'll start popping."
As soon as they open, snatch them off the grill and put on the next round. Then use tongs in one hand and a towel in the other to remove each cooked oyster's lid. Use a paring knife to scrape gently beneath each oyster, releasing the meat.
Set oysters on the half-shell on a plate; top each with prosciutto and mignonette.