Preparation / Directions:
*2 (10 oz.) packages of fresh spinach can be substituted.
**Other anise-flavored liqueur can be substituted.
Preheat the oven to 450F
Open the oysters, leaving them on the half shell and reserving the oyster liquid. Pick over the spinach and remove any tough stems and blemished leaves. Rinse well and put in a saucepan. Cover and cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted. Cook briefly and drain well. Squeeze to remove excess moisture.
Blend or put through a food grinder. There should be about 2 cups. Put the scallions, celery and parsley into the container of a food processor or an electric blender and blend. There should be about a cup finely blended.
Chop the garlic and anchovies together finely. Heat 4 Tbsp. butter in a skillet and add the scallion and celery mixture. Stir about 1 minute and add the anchovy mixture. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute and add the spinach. Stir to blend. Heat the remaining 4 Tbs butter in a saucepan and add the flour.
Blend, stirring with a wire whisk, and add the oyster liquid, stirring vigorously with the whisk. Stir in the cream. Season with Tabasco.
Do not add salt. Add the spinach mixture and Pernod. Let cool. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture on top of the oysters and smooth over the tops. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until piping hot.
NOTE: The same spinach topping is equally good (some think it is better) with clams on the half shell