Whilst in England earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit the Oyster Festival at Whitstable. This is a 3 day celebration of all things oyster, dating back to Norman times. It was a great day, there was a market and music, a fun fair and as much seafood as you could poke a stick at! The seaside town of Whitstable is also lovely with some great shops and eateries. Well worth a visit even if the festival isn’t happening.
How to best to celebrate this day and the humble oyster but with another quintessentially English ingredient… rhubarb!
WTF??? Yep, rhubarb. Sounds weird but bear with me…it really works. Meantime, here’s some pics from the Oyster Festival.
While we were in Whitstable, we had our oysters with a traditional mignonette which is chopped shallots, red wine vinegar and cracked black pepper. I jazzed mine up with some very finely chopped rhubarb.
Raw rhubarb has a sharp, clean, crisp, sour taste – imagine sour green apples mixed with celery which mixes perfectly with the red wine vinegar and shallots in a traditional mignonette, plus it makes it a glorious pink colour!
Of course, if you want a traditional mignonette, you can use this recipe from Bon Appetit. But why not take a teeny step into the wild side and try this? It is really lovely!
Any leftover mignonette can be used as a delicious dressing for any salad greens!
- 12 freshly shucked oysters
- 1/2 stick rhubarb, finely chopped
- 2 French shallots, finely chopped
- 80ml red wine vinegar
- Pinch of sugar
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients except oyster in a small bowl.
- Leave for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
- When ready to serve, spoon rhubarb mignonette over oysters.
The Dishiest Dish – Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit Sorbet
Dishiest Dish – Apricot and Rhubarb Frangipane Tarts
Future Classics – Australian Table – August 2001
Have a wonderful weekend!