Oysters ‘Old Cliff’

By Yankee Magazine

Oct 30 2003

Hatch’s Fish Market in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, is a New England shop in the classic tradition: a simple wood cottage stocked with just-caught gems and signature smoked delicacies. If the display isn’t enough to whet your appetite, the scent of the applewood smoker will surely do it. This recipe comes from founder Cliff Hatch, who passed it down to current owner Rob McClellan.


6-8 servings


2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium white mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 medium-size red onion, finely chopped
6 ounces fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cream cheese
24 oysters, cleaned and shucked, top shells discarded
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Spinach, seaweed, or rock salt
Lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 400º. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, toss butter, garlic, mushrooms, and onion; cook until onion is translucent. Add spinach, stir, and cover. Cook until spinach is tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn heat off. Add salt, pepper, and cream cheese; stir until evenly melted.

Place about 1 tablespoon spinach mixture atop each raw oyster; sprinkle each oyster with 1-½–2 teaspoons Parmesan. Bake until cheese melts, about 6 minutes.

Serve hot on a bed of spinach, seaweed, or rock salt. Garnish with lemon wedges.