Warm Lobster Salad on Baby Lettuce
and Spice, by Rudolph Sodamin.
Recipe is reprinted with permission from Rizzoli Publications.
1 1/2-pound lobster
1/4 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut
into half moons
spears pencil asparagus
ripe medium tomato
Tablespoons unsalted butter
large white mushrooms, thinly sliced
of 1/2 lemon
Tablespoon port wine
ounces mixed baby lettuce or mesclun greens
Tablespoon fresh chervil, chopped
peppercorns for garnish
and freshly ground black pepper to taste
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.
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.