It’s always so hard to see summer go. If you’ve been keeping up with me on Insta, you know that it was a crazy whirlwind couple of months spent in the sun and on the water. Our “Flat Bottomed Girl” got quite a few more nautical miles under her belt, and I cooked and shared all kinds of goodness with friends (and strangers!) out at our local hangout of Little Beach, on neighboring Assateague Island.
Boatside Bistro was in full effect, y’all! I find myself cooking on the boat more than I do in my kitchen from the months of May – September. I think the pinnacle was catching fish offshore, cleaning and fileting them on the boat, then turning into fish tacos and enjoying on the beach. However, we had alot of great meals out there this season, and which of them was the best is still a topic of debate…
At any rate, the days have finally started to turn brisk. And while we must say goodbye to some things that fill our heart and soul, there are always others to look forward to. Like watching the vibrant green marsh fade into a rich gold hue – with the occasional burst of salicornia in the mix. It’s an edible plant that grows in abundance in our marshes here on the island, appearing green in the summer months and then turning a vibrant red hue in autumn. It’s crunchy, and briny, and tastes of the sea. Not to mention it’s beautiful!
I have fun harvesting it and coming up with new ideas how to use it. Vodka infusion is a favorite (can you say pickle shot, y’all?), adding it to salads, or chopping and adding to pimento cheese. A few weeks ago I helped harvest a haul to brew a stout with at Black Narrows Brewing, which was absolutely delicious!
It just so happened that I had a bunch of beans after the beer release at the brewery, which I then took to the Chincoteague Oyster Festival with me the next day – and whipped up this super simple salicornia mignonette…
A “mignonette” is just fancy French term for a vinegar sauce that is traditionally served with oysters. I used a red wine vinegar, some chopped shallot, and threw in some chopped salicornia. Talk about tasting the “salt life” – was a hit all around. And I felt so fancy coming up with it!
Which brings me to something else we have to look forward to in the fall and winter months – oyster season! What do you guys look forward to the most?
Oysters with Salicornia Mignonette
1 dozen oysters, on the half shell
For the mignonette:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely minced
2 Tbsp chopped salicornia (about 15 “bean” stalks)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl or ramekin. Mix to combine. Let sit for 20 minutes to let the flavors mingle and meld together.
Meanwhile, place the crushed ice in the bottom of a shallow serving dish. Carefully lay the oysters on top of the ice for serving.
Serve the mignonette alongside the oysters with the lemon wedges.