In a small, heavy-based skillet, heat the oil until very hot. Add the peppercorns, reduce the heat to medium low, and toast the peppercorns, swirling frequently, until aromatic, about 5 minutes. Pour the hot peppercorns onto a cutting board to cool. Using a blunt object (such as the bottom of a clean skillet or a meat mallet), crush the peppercorns coarsely but evenly. Put the crushed pepper into a nonreactive bowl and add the salt, shallot, and verjus. Stir well and then allow to steep for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator; the sauce will darken over time.
Shuck the oysters and leave them in their cupped shell halves, with their liquor. Arrange the oysters on a serving plate, stabilizing them with chipped ice or salt, if you like. Return the oysters to the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
Pour a little verjus sauce on the oysters and garnish with the snipped chives.
nutrition information (per serving):
per oyster with 1/2 tsp. sauce;
Photo: Judi Rutz