Easy entertaining: Roasted shellfish platter

Nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen all day instead of at the party. These recipes are designed to pre-make, then share — buffet style.

Roasted Shellfish Platter

Photography © Chris Middleton
Edited extract from Roast by Louise Franc, published by Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99.

Serves 4-6

  • 500g clams (vongole)
  • 2 cooked crabs
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 75g butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Large handful parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 raw lobster tail, halved lengthways
  • 12 large tiger prawns, unpeeled
  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • Crusty white bread, to serve
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

Saffron mayonnaise

  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Up to 160ml neutral-flavoured oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Soak the clams in a large bowl of cold water for 1 hour to remove any grit or sand.

Make the saffron mayonnaise by soaking the saffron threads in 1 tbsp hot water for about 10 minutes. In a food processor, process the egg yolk, mustard and a large pinch of salt for about 1½ minutes, or until light and airy. With the motor running slowly add the oil until you have a thick, glossy mayonnaise. Combine the lemon juice and saffron water and slowly pour the mixture in, processing until well combined. Transfer to the fridge for the mayonnaise to chill and firm up.

Preheat the oven to 210°C. Prepare the crabs by firmly lifting the base of the outer shell until it comes away. Rinse away the greyish material, snap off the “apron” and mandibles and remove the gills. Slice each crab in half and crack the large front legs.

Pour 60ml olive oil into a large roasting pan and place in the oven to heat. Place the lobster tail halves in the hot pan flesh-side down, along with the prawns. Roast in the oven for 3 minutes.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and remaining oil over low heat and add the garlic and parsley. Set aside.

Place the drained clams and mussels into a large roasting pan with 60ml water. Drizzle over half the melted garlic butter and place in the oven.

Flip the lobster and prawns over. Add the crab to the pan and drizzle with the remaining melted garlic butter. Return to the oven and roast for a further 6–8 minutes, turning the seafood every couple of minutes until the mussels and clams have opened.

Place on a large serving platter and drizzle with the juices from both roasting pans. Serve with crusty white bread, saffron mayonnaise and lemon wedges.

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