While dining out at your local seafood joint or your neighborhood bistro, you've undoubtedly encountered them by the dozen (or half). Oysters on the half shell are ubiquitous these days, but they're not just a restaurant treat. Many seafood markets sell them for home consumption, and the right tools and plenty of ice will see you shucking and slurping in no time.

A quick squeeze of lemon juice or a drizzle of hot sauce is perhaps the simplest accompaniment, but a classic mignonette — a vinegar and shallot-based condiment — nicely balances that from-the-sea brininess and can be thrown together in no time. Just place all ingredients in a jar, shake, shake, shake, and your elegant oyster appetizer is ready!

Read on for the recipe.

Oysters and Champagne Mignonette

Oysters and Champagne Mignonette

Oysters and Champagne Mignonette

Ingredients

1/2 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
As many freshly shucked oysters as you can eat

Directions

You can use any type of wine vinegar (champagne, white, red, sherry, etc.) in this recipe, but I like the brightness of the champagne. It's a crisp counterpart to the brininess of the oyster.

  1. Combine all ingredients except oysters in a jar and shake vigorously. Pour into a serving bowl and serve with tiny spoons alongside freshly shucked oysters on ice.

Makes about 1/2 cup of mignonette.