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Oysters with Muscadine Mignonette

Oysters with Muscadine Mignonette

Serves: Makes 3/4 cup (enough for 24 oysters)

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1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
8 muscadines, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Rock salt or crushed ice
24 fresh raw oysters, well-scrubbed


In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, muscadines, shallot and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, shuck the oysters: Cover a large platter with a 1/2-inch layer of rock salt or ice.

Working with one oyster at a time, place the oyster, rounded-side down, on the counter in a folded kitchen towel with the hinge facing out. Place your non-dominant hand firmly on top of the oyster. Use your dominant hand to stick the oyster knife into the hinge of the oyster. Twist the knife upward under the hinge until you can hear and feel the hinge pop open. Wiggle the knife further inside the oyster to dislodge the top shell, and then run the knife around the top shell to cut through the top muscle. Remove the top shell and wipe the oyster knife on a towel. Being careful to keep all of the oyster juice in the shell, run the oyster knife under the oyster to cut through the bottom muscle. Transfer to the prepared platter.

Repeat with the remaining oysters.

Serve the oysters drizzled with the mignonette.

About the recipe

A mignonette sauce is a vinegar-based condiment for raw oysters. Adding muscadine grapes to the mignonette causes them to take on a pickled quality that nicely complements cold, briny oysters.