Oysters with parsley– bastourma salad

Oysters with parsley– bastourma salad

New Middle Eastern Food
6 as a starter
Mark Roper

Add a Middle Eastern touch to a platter of oysters with one or all of the suggested accompaniments.

Bastourma is a Turkish air-dried beef which has first been rubbed with fenugreek, chilli and sugar. It combines beautifully with the briny tannin flavours of oysters and vital, metallic parsley. It’s available from Turkish butchers and some delicatessens.


Quantity Ingredient
6 ripe tomatoes
50g sugar
60ml water
30ml olive oil, for sautéing
200g bastourma, thinly sliced then cut in to 3 mm batons
1 1/2 cups shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 Artichokes cooked à la Niçoise
or good-quality purchased artichokes in oil
100ml red-wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
36 oysters, freshly opened


  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the flesh and seeds.
  2. In a heavy pan, dissolve the sugar in 30 ml water. Once it is fully dissolved, simmer gently for 8 minutes, or until the syrup turns a deep golden colour. Add 30 ml warm water, stir and return to a simmer for 2 minutes more until the caramel thickens.
  3. Put the tomatoes on a rack, skin side down, and drizzle the caramel over them. Leave to dry in a preheated 140°C oven for 6–8 hours.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan and sauté the bastourma over a high heat until it is crisp, 3–4 minutes.
  5. Cut the caramelised tomatoes into thick strips. In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, bastourma, parsley, artichoke leaves, red-wine vinegar, garlic and oil. Season lightly.
  6. For each person, arrange six oysters in their shells on a plate, and place a heaped spoonful of the parsley salad on top of each oyster. Serve straight away.
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