Pine Island Oysters with Radish Mignonette

I am thankful for oysters.

They taste good and all, but they serve a greater purpose for me during the holidays. I look forward to cooking a feast, but with a house full of hungry men and dogs and a snarly cat on top of the refrigerator, it can be chaos around here. I have moments when I want to shoo them all out. 

But with oysters, I don’t have to. I can play it cool.First, we get a box from our local seafood market. Sometimes we go for two, a whole bushel, which is about a hundred oysters. Seems like a lot of oysters to eat, huh? We’ll have plenty of friends stopping by to help. Seems like they’d take a long time to shuck, huh? 

I’m counting on it. The oysters go in one cooler. There’s another filled with beer. I set up a table and chairs on the porch. The guys all bring their favorite oyster knives. I set out all the fixins. We’ve always got Crystal hot sauce on hand, and I make mignonette with shallots, Meyer lemon juice, and the radishes from my garden. That peppery kick is a perfect match for our local Pine Island oysters. With this set up, I know they’ll be content out there for hours. Days, even. I make an appearance when I’m ready to eat a couple myself, but for the most part, you’ll find me in the kitchen. I love to cook, and I want to be able to really get into it. I want to smell when the pecans are toasted on top of the sweet potatoes. I want to hear the cranberries popping and bubbling in the sauce. I want to add more butter without judgment. I want everything to arrive on the table perfectly browned and hot. It’s no small feat, and it’s so awesome when it all comes together. 

Eventually they’ll smell the feast taking shape and make their way back inside. Toby will turn on music and my dad will yell at the dogs to stay out of the kitchen and the cat will start hissing again. My brother will open wine and carry all the food to the table. Then we’ll sit down to this feast and toast to another year we get to be here together, and I’m so thankful for that. I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving. 

Radish Mignonette
  1. 1/4 cup finely minced radishes
  2. 1/4 cup finely minced shallots
  3. 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  4. salt and freshly cracked pepper
  1. Combine the radishes, shallots, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. It's milder and darker pink when made the day ahead.
  3. Serve in a small dish with oysters on the half-shell.
Suwannee Rose
Make it a day ahead for extra bold color. 




13 Comments Pine Island Oysters with Radish Mignonette

  1. Julie November 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    What a wonderful idea! I’m afraid I’d be out with the boys quite a bit. I love cooking, but hey, we’re talking freshly shucked raw oysters here! Your special sauce with lemons and radishes sounds delish too.

    It sounds like your Thanksgivng is going to be fabulous. Enjoy! Tell everyone hi from me.

    1. suwanneerose November 22, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks, Julie! I’ll be sure to tell them, and say hello to your gang for me, too. Enjoy your feast!!!

  2. bt November 22, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve never minded being babysat by oysters! Thank you so much for all the thought and hard work you put into our holidays.

    1. suwanneerose November 22, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      Always a pleasure, bt. I love feeding you and Finn.

  3. Sarah November 22, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Lovely post <3 Hoping to get some delicious gems in Apalachicola this weekend!

    1. suwanneerose November 23, 2017 at 6:46 am

      Lucky you, Sarah! We got a box from Apalachicola recently and they were amazing (as always). We even made oysters rockefeller with a dozen of them. Enjoy!

  4. Anita Randall November 25, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Sounds wonderful! I’m in central PA on a frosty morn, dreaming of fresh fish and veggies again. Deer hunting season has begun, so although the sound of gunshots make me uneasy, the promise of verison stew or sausage does take away some of the worry.

    Always good to remember there is much for which we all can be thankful.

    1. suwanneerose November 29, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Anita, I hope you’ve had a delivery of venison by now. We spent Thanksgiving part 2 up your way, as you’ll see in my next post. We hiked on the opening day of hunting season. The dogs wore bright colors and we made lots of noise. Nice to feel the leaves and frost crunching underfoot. Never did hear a gunshot, thankfully. Enjoy your stew!

  5. Coley November 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Your words about being in the kitchen are so perfect. “More butter without judgement” should be written on a poster and held up at a protest (for what, I don’t know). I love the idea of spicy radishes in mignonette (always my oyster topper of choice) and your radishes look beautiful… ravishing! Happy Thanksgiving a week later. <3

    1. suwanneerose November 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you, Coley! I’ve had to protest way too much this past year. If they go after my butter, I’ll be ready.

  6. ann February 9, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    I like to make mine ahead of time so the radishes can develop that pretty rosy color. My recent batch ended up in the blender with some red Thai chiles, red wine vinegar and citrus. The consistency was perfect and so was the heat (we like things hot and spicy around here :D)! I didn’t have shallots so minced up some green onions and added them after to the blended mix. Nice color contrast and perfectly suited to oysters! Thanks so much!

    1. suwanneerose February 10, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Hi Ann! I love the color after it sits a while, too. I’ll make a note in the recipe. Thanks for the idea of adding chiles. We all like spicy around here, too!

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