WSG News Blog

Local and Coastal: Garlic-Chili Oil and Smoked Oyster Pizza

July 17, 2020 

By Abby Rogerson, WSG Student Assistant 

A classic New Haven-style pizza from Connecticut features freshly shucked littleneck clams atop a crust brushed with olive oil, garlic, and herbs. In our PNW version, we infuse the olive oil with the garlic and herbs first, add some mozzarella, replace the clams with smoked oysters, and throw some spring greens on top for good measure. Why use smoked oysters rather than littleneck clams? We have littleneck clams in Washington too, right? Yes! But although they share a common name, they’re actually different species. The East Coast littleneck is Mercenaria mercenaria, while our native littleneck is Leukoma staminea. 

Our native littlenecks are usually steamed, so I opted for local smoked oysters instead. The smoked oysters pack a punch of umami that works great with the bright herby base and bitter greens. Choosing locally harvested seafood isn’t only a delicious option – it’s a great way to support the shellfish aquaculture industry, which is central to the culture and economy of Washington’s coastal communities. 

Garlic Oil:  

  • Scant ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper 

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Cook until golden, but careful not to let it burn. Swirl the spices into the oil and take off the heat. Pour the oil into a bowl and mix in the salt and a good grind of black pepper. 


  • 1 serving pizza dough 
  • ½ ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • ⅓ cup parmesan, finely grated 
  • 3-oz can of high-quality smoked oysters
  • 1½ cups bitter greens (e.g. arugula, frisée)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar, or squeeze of lemon juice
  • Olive oil 

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 500°F. Oil a baking sheet and stretch dough out to the edges, taking care not to push all the air out of the dough. 

Step 2: Coat the dough with a thin layer of garlic oil. You’ll probably have some extra; reserve at least 1 tablespoon. Add the mozzarella, smoked oysters, and parmesan. Pop it in the oven. 

Step 3: While the pizza is cooking, dress the greens with 1 tablespoon of the reserved garlic oil and vinegar/lemon juice. 

Step 4: Cook until the pizza is bubbling and golden. Let cool slightly, cut, then top with dressed greens.