What are watermelon oysters? They’re a clever combination of oysters that use the rind and the flesh of a watermelon as a garnish. On this last day of National Watermelon Month July, we present them to the sophisticated foodie.
The recipe, Watermelon Rind Mignonette and Watermelon Granita with Oysters, is ambitious, but the result is palate-exciting.
You have advance notice: National Watermelon Day is August 3rd. National Oyster Day is August 5th.
> The different types of oysters.
The watermelon rind mignonette and the watermelon granita add contrasting sweet, heat, and tart flavors to each bite. The recipe uses the whole watermelon.
It’s very important to have freshly shucked—not pre-shucked—oysters, as the fresh salty liquor in the shell balances against the mignonette and granita.
The granita and mignonette can be used on freshly shucked clams as well. They’re also great as a dip for fresh cracked crab and lobster.
If you want to make it in advance, the granita will last for 90 days frozen. The heat can be increased based on your taste level.
The optional Prosecco* will be delicious served with the oysters.
Mignonette sauce is a classic French condiment for raw oysters, traditionally made with minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar traditionally. This is Chef Gronlund’s take on it.
1. MAKE the mignonette. Trim any flesh that remains on the rind. Very finely julienne the rind with a mandoline and finely chop.
2. COMBINE in a container with a tight-fitting lid, the chopped rind, onion, red pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, basil, water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Put the lid on and shake gently a few times to blend well and allow the salt and sugar to dissolve. Keep the mignonette chilled to keep the ingredients crisp and preserve the flavor.
3. MAKE the watermelon granita. Purée the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender and measure 4 cups of purée for the granita.
4. PUT the Korean ginger tea in the top of a double boiler to heat. Strain it through fine cheesecloth to remove the citrus rind and ginger chunks. Measure 1 cup of liquid for the granita.
5. ADD the tea, Sriracha, sugar, and vinegar to the watermelon purée. Whisk the ingredients vigorously to ensure the sugar is dissolved.
6. FREEZE the mixture in an ice cream machine according to the directions. Or, freeze in a pan as in this granita recipe. Scrape a fork through the mixture every hour or so to make it forms granita crystals.
7. ASSEMBLE. Immediately before serving, top freshly shucked oysters with 1 tablespoon each of granita and mignonette. Optional: For a fresh bubbly flavor, add a splash of Prosecco onto the oysters.
*Sriracha is capitalized because it is the name of the city where the condiment originated. Here’s more about Sriracha sauce. Prosecco is capitalized because it is a region of Italy.
†Yellow sriracha was created by Three Mountains, a small chili farm in Sriracha, Thailand. It is made from yellow Thai burapa chiles, which have a complex spicy-sweet flavor and rich consistency. It is a little sweeter and less vinegary than the popular Rooster brand Sriracha sauce, with citrus notes.
‡Add some lemon and ginger flavor to the honey, with a bit of lemon juice and a dash of ginger.
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