Recipe

Spoon This Mimosa Mignonette Over Fresh Oysters or Even Salad

A tangy-sweet blend of citrus, champagne vinegar, shallots, and jalapeño is the perfect partner for a salty Lowcountry oyster

An oyster with orange dressing

Photo: courtesy of Lowcountry Oyster Co.

A Lowcountry Cup oyster dressed with mimosa mignonette.

For Trey “Cricket” McMillan, the first oyster goes down plain. Then, it’s time to evaluate which accoutrement—lemon, hot sauce, horseradish, a mignonette—might best complement its flavor. “Oysters are so representative of place,” he says—and he would know. McMillan owns and runs Lowcountry Oyster Co., a supplier based in Charleston that furnishes local raw bars with bivalves fresh-grown in South Carolina’s ACE Basin. His flagship oyster, dubbed the Lowcountry Cup, calls for something to play against its natural saltiness. 

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Nate Alton, the company’s account manager and a former shucker at Pearlz Oyster Bar in Charleston, created just the thing: a mimosa mignonette starring champagne vinegar and orange, plus diced shallots and jalapeños. “Because of the champagne vinegar, it’s a little sweeter and more dry than the typical vinegary mignonette,” McMillan says. “Everything balances out perfectly.” 

Lowcountry Oyster Co. does ship their shellfish (and they are in the process of bottling Alton’s mignonette for eventual sale, too), but if you’re sourcing from elsewhere, McMillan recommends pairing it with other high-in-salt raw oysters from places like Prince Edward Island, Rhode Island, or Duxbury, Massachusetts. You can also drip a little in a grilling oyster for extra flavor. Or, he says, don’t use it on oysters at all—drizzle it over greens or mix it up in a cucumber tomato salad. “It’s good in so many ways. It’ll make a tadpole slap a whale.” 


Ingredients

  • Mimosa Mignonette (Yield: ¾ cup, enough for 150–200 oysters)

    • 2 oz. champagne vinegar

    • 2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

    • 1 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice

    • Zest of lemons and oranges

    • 1 tsp. minced shallot

    • ½ tsp. minced jalapeño


Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir. Let sit for at least two hours. 

  2. Serve in a glass dropper or small bowl with a spoon.

  3. Drip or spoon the mixture over (preferably salty) oysters on the half shell.

  4.  Note: The mignonette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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