If you follow foodie folklore, you’ve likely heard the one about never eating shellfish during any month without an R. Weird, since most of us don’t exactly associate freezing winter months with oysters on ice, steamed lobster, and chilled lump crab.
Well, it turns out that mandate isn’t exactly true: According to the New York Times, a reason shellfish is considered problematic in the summer is because of red tides—the massive blooms of algae that collect along coastlines in warm weather. It’s been shown that these tides can spread toxins which then get soaked up by mussels, clams, and other little mollusks, but only when people essentially pluck their dinner straight from the shoreline, which you’re presumably not doing.
The Times points out that most shellfish sold in restaurants, supermarkets and urban areas are commercially harvested and subject to regulations intended to eliminate such hazards.
To that end, we’ve put together 15 gorgeous shellfish recipes for you to make right now, or—if you’re so inclined—in any month that’s got an R.