New Jersey Pine Shoot Mignonette Sauce

PREP: 5 MINS (plus infusion time) | YIELD: 1 Cup


Recipe by Chef Casey Pesce

PREP: 5 MINS (plus infusion time)

YIELD: 1 Cup


  • 2 Tbsp. Young, tender pine shoot needles
  • 2 Tbsp. Cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Red pepper, finely diced
  • 2 Tsp. Chili pepper (fresh), minced
  • 1 pinch Ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh chives, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Local honey2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil



  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix together and infuse for at least 1 hour.
  3. Place about 1 teaspoon on each oyster and serve.



1. The mignonette has a shelf life of up to 1 month if stored properly in an airtightcontainer and refrigerated.
2. This sauce enhances the flavor of local oysters. Alternately, mix with a littlemayonnaise and serve with lobster beignets (see Casey’s New Jersey LobsterBeignets recipe).
3. All pine needles are edible, but younger needles are more tender (and milder inflavor). If using older needles, which tend to be tougher, mince them asyouwould rosemary and adjust the amount added. Rosemary may also besubstituted for the pine needles. But add only to taste.
4. Pine needles may also steep in liquids, like milk and tea, to add layers of flavor todesserts, cocktails, soups and stews.
5. Makesure to forage only for needles from trees that haven’t been sprayed withpesticides.
6. Sweet and spicy chilis, and also ground cayenne (to taste) or black pepper (totaste) work well in this recipe.
7. Rice vinegar may be substituted for Champagne vinegar.