Natural oysters with parsley-bastourma salad

Natural oysters with parsley-bastourma salad

William Meppem

Bastourma is a Turkish air-dried beef, which has first been rubbed with fenugreek, chilli and sugar. You can find it at Turkish butchers and some Continental delicatessens. It is strongly flavoured and pungent, and very more-ish. Slivers of the beef with vital, metallic parsley work as a terrific counterfoil to the briny tannin flavours of natural oysters.


Quantity Ingredient
6 ripe tomatoes
50g sugar
12 teaspoons water
30ml olive oil, for sautéing
200g bastourma, thinly sliced then cut into 3 mm batons
1 1/2 cups parsley leaves, shredded
100g artichoke leaves
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 6 teaspoons water. Once it is fully dissolved simmer gently for 8 minutes, or until the syrup turns a deep-golden colour. Add 6 further teaspoons of warm water, stir and bring back to a simmer for 2 minutes more until the caramel thickens.
  3. Place the tomatoes on a rack, skin-side down, and drizzle the caramel over them. Leave them 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 (around 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 extra-virgin olive oil. Season lightly.
  6. For each person, arrange 6 oysters in their shells on a plate, and place a heaped spoonful of the parsley salad on top of each oyster. Serve straight away.
Middle East
Middle Eastern
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