All summer and spring, I have been making this cucumber mignonette sauce to serve alongside oysters on the half shell. I first learned about this combo in Erin French’s memoir Finding Freedom. She runs the Lost Kitchen in Maine, a place I have always wanted to go, and her celebration of New England and its unique seasons has always inspired me. She mentioned serving oysters with a cucumber mignonette sauce and as soon as I read those words, I knew I needed to try to recreate it.

A typical mignonette sauce is a simple preparation of shallots with vinegar and a little salt and sugar. But when you add the cucumber, the result is an incredibly fresh and sharp condiment, a perfect compliment to platter of briny oysters. It makes fora truly perfect dish, one that will impress your guests, but isn’t complicated at all to make. The complicated part is shucking those oysters, but with a little practice you’ll be a pro!

Give this cucumber mignonette recipe a try next time you’re serving oysters and let me know how it goes.

Difficulty level: Easy

Total time: 10 minutes


1/4 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon warm water
2 tablespoons cucumber, minced (you’ll use about 1/4 of a cucumber)
1 small shallot, minced (you want a little less than the amount of cucumber)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
cracked black pepper to taste (I use a few pinches)


  • Mince your shallot and cucumber and combine in a small bowl. The quantities don’t have to be exact, you just want almost a 1 to 1 ratio of cucumber and shallot, but leaning towards more cucumber than shallot.

  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir. Transfer to the fridge and chill while you shuck your oysters.

  • Top each oyster with a generous amount of the mignonette, I think it really makes it. You will probably have some extra mignonette, which you can save in the fridge for your next oyster meal, or toss it onto a salad because it’s basically a dressing already!

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