When it comes to oyster accoutrements, anyone who knows me knows that I am a devout purist. I love to savor them unadulterated, seasoned only by what mother nature has provided. That’s not to say that I can’t enjoy some tasty toppings every now and then. Here’s a brand new creation that I hope you’ll love as much as I do.

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There’s a hot new oyster condiment in town, and it’s blueberry mignonette. Summery, sweet-and-tangy, and super eye-catching.

A mignonette is liquidy condiment comprised of minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar. There are many variations on the classic, including champagne mignonette, cucumber mignonette, and pink peppercorn mignonette. They are simple to enjoy, easy to make, and keep for several weeks in the fridge.

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The mignonette mimics what a squeeze of lemon does for an oyster: the acid helps balance out the brininess of the liquor. When appropriately applied (read: in moderation), it can help enhance the taste of an oyster. Or at the very least, shake things up a bit. The shallot can also provide a bit of a crunch to this slippery snack.

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I found that this blueberry mignonette goes perfectly on a round of briny Bluepoint oysters. I have had this idea for awhile now, but never really had the motivation to experiment. Now that I have my bright new kitchen space to work in, coupled with the fact that the end of peak blueberry season is approaching, I wanted to give it a shot before they are ushered out of my local greenmarket.

I also tried pairing the oysters and blueberry mignonette with a blueberry ale from Blue Point Brewing Co. It also worked splendidly! Unlike some other brews, this blueberry ale isn’t too sweet/fruity. This aromatic ale helped balance the slightly sweeter nature of the sauce. For that special blueberry-slash-oyster-obsessed loved one in your life, this trio will definitely win you some major brownie points.

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In A Half Shell’s Blueberry Mignonette

Recipe by Julie Qiu
Makes enough for at least 2-3 dozen oysters

Ingredients

1 cup of fresh blueberries
2 small shallots or 1 medium shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour the white wine vinegar and rice wine vinegar together in a small bowl
  2. Add diced shallots to the vinegar mix
  3. Use a food processor to puree the blueberries and add to vinegar mix
  4. Top off with freshly crushed black pepper
  5. Set in the fridge to chill and marinate for at least a couple of hours

Other Applications

After setting the mignonette in the fridge overnight, the liquid thickened into more of a sauce. I learned that it also goes really well over a simple pan-seared wild duck! Every winter, I can expect B to go off on at least one duck hunting expedition and return home with a duffle full of frozen mallards, gadwells, and teal. We’ve been trying to eat down the stockpile of ducks for months. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.