Warm Lobster Salad on Baby Lettuce

Adapted from Seduction and Spice, by Rudolph Sodamin.
Recipe is reprinted with permission from Rizzoli Publications.

Yield: 2 servings

  • One 1 1/2-pound lobster
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into half moons
  • 6 spears pencil asparagus
  • 1 ripe medium tomato
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon port wine
  • 2 ounces mixed baby lettuce or mesclun greens
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chervil, chopped
  • Red peppercorns for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, bring 1 gallon of salted water to a boil over high heat. Place the lobster head first in the pot so that it is completely submerged. Cover the pot and return to a boil. Boil for 6 minutes and remove from the pot. Remove the claws and tail. Slice the tail meat into even chunks and reserve with the claws. Split the head and carcass and reserve with the legs.

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the cucumber and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon or strainer, remove the cucumber strips, transfer them to a small bowl and reserve. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and repeat the cooking process, removing with a slotted spoon and transferring to a bowl after approximately 2 minutes.

While that same pan of water is boiling, with a paring knife, cut out the stem from the tomato and score a small 'X' with the tip of the knife on the opposite end. Plunge the tomato in the boiling water and leave it in just until the skin is loosened, 10 to 20 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove the tomato and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Slip off the skin and cut the tomato in half. Gently but firmly squeeze the seeds from the tomato halves. Dice the tomato. Reserve.

Sauté the lobster meat, cucumber, asparagus and tomato lightly in 1 tablespoon of butter for 1 minute. On the top of each plate, place some lobster medallions and a lobster claw. Season all components with salt and pepper. Place the plate briefly in a low oven to warm and brush everything with melted butter.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring, just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the port and cook, stirring, until reduced by half. Whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a handful of the baby lettuce in the center of each plate and spoon the lemon sauce over the greens. Top with the warmed lobster and diced tomatoes. Garnish with the chervil and red peppercorns.