weeknight ingredients | oysters

The legendary Jonathan Smith wrote "He was a bold man who ate the first oyster."

Rumored to induce passions, oysters are particularly popular this time of the year.  Even if they don't spark romance, they are a deliciously fabulous Valentine dinner.

As a bonus, sustainable oysters are good for the environment.  Did you know that oyster reefs provide food and habitat for marine life?  In addition to that, an adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day - acting as a natural filtration system for the oceans.  Because of how their little bodies are created, they flush out dirt and pollutants from the water and digest only the algae.

Lots of reasons have contributed to the losing of a significant percentage of naturally formed oyster reefs.  However, there are places like the Nature Conservancy that are working to restore those reefs - and there are farmers like Penn Cove Shellfish that are creating similar benefits by building up oyster farms and producing thousands of pounds of oysters annually.

What you need to know is that the best thing you can do to help the oysters and help the oceans - according to Nature Conservancy - is to EAT MORE OYSTERS!  Yes!  That's right!  Eat certified sustainable oysters and you will help the oyster reefs and help the oceans.

Want to learn more?  Click here.

Here's the best part about an oyster dinner.

You.  Don't.  Cook.

That's right - pop down to Whole Foods and they will shuck the oysters for you.  Bring them home, serve them with a sliced lemon and a crisp white wine and enjoy.  If there's an easier dinner, I'm not sure what it is.

Dig in.