Classic Mignonette

They say everything deserves a second chance. I gave raw oysters well, somewhere closer to 5. The first time I ever tried an oyster, I was forced into doing so, and even shed a tear (or two) while trying to chew and swallow it. Still a little traumatized.

This past weekend, I drove up with a few friends up to Tomales Bay – the hub where all oyster-loving foodies gather to feast. It’s as fresh as it gets here – located right on the oyster farm, where you can buy them straight from the bay and by the pound.

I tried a couple more here at Tomales Bay. I figured why not, maybe if they’re fresh, they’ll taste better? Nope. Don’t ask me about my irrational fear of these mollusks, because I don’t really get it either. Maybe because a raw oyster reminds me of a fleshy, saltwater-saturated loogie, with gills?

Nonetheless, it was a great time spent with good company and new friends. I was asked to prepare the toppings for our little oyster festivity – and I was excited about the idea, despite knowing close to nothing about oysters. What I did know about dressing oysters is that you want to keep the flavors as light and crisp as possible, keeping the integrity of the oyster’s flavor intact.

Note: Asian-style toppings are usually a safe bet, i.e. thinly sliced ginger + black vinegar or ponzu sauce.

It’s an extremely straightforward recipe, so you can’t really go wrong here no matter how hard you try. And my more oyster-enthused friends confirmed that it was delicious and kept going back for more. So that’s a good sign.

Prepare this at least 24 hours in advance (up to 4 days in advance) to let the flavors merry before serving.

Ingredients
1 cup shallot, diced
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked

1. Dice the shallot, and transfer to a medium sized bowl.

Classic Mignonette

2. Into the bowl, add the red wine vinegar and black pepper. *Tip: If you want to get fancy, you can also replace the red wine vinegar with champagne vinegar.

3. Stir until evenly combined, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours (up to 4 days in advance) before serving.

Classic Mignonette

Classic Mignonette

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