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A robust Rhode Island mignonette.

The recipe originates from the Castle Hill Inn outside Newport on Aquidneck Island. We have replaced cherry with grape tomatoes, lime with lemon juice and garlic with the more traditional shallot: We find raw garlic far too assertive to pair with a delicate northeastern oyster. Our proportions also differ from the original. Enough mignonette to lavishly paint a dozen oysters.



-1 cup thinly sliced grape tomatoes
-2 oz grated horseradish, either fresh (preferred) or bottled (fine)
-1 Tablespoon minced shallot
-1 Tablespoon very good olive oil
-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
-salt, pepper and cayenne


Just combine everything in a manner gentle enough not to break the tomato disks; use as much or little salt, pepper and cayenne as you like. Spoon an equal dollop of the mignonette over each of 2 oysters on the half shell.


- Do play with the formula: Use more olive oil if you like, or omit it altogether. Change any proportion, or eliminate the horseradish if you are not a fan.

- Alternatives to lemon juice include the original lime; blood orange juice (with kudos to Rowan Jacobsen); blood orange vinegar for a little more bite; or the traditional red wine vinegar.

- If you use orange juice, replace some of the missing acidity by replacing the cayenne with hot sauce.

- Instructions for shucking an oyster appear in the practical (where else?).