Wednesday, September 30, 2009

195. Tarragon Lobster Salad (p. 157)

Back on Labor Day, my in-laws had a huge family lobster-fest. Everyone was there: my wife's grandparents, her aunt and uncle, her cousins, and her sisters and their families. And to feed everybody, my father-in-law got more lobsters than I think I've ever seen in one place at one time. He boiled them up in the back yard in a huge pot over gas burner. When everyone had their fill of lobster, melted butter and corn-on-the-cob, there were a few lobsters left over. Left over lobster!?!? Who ever heard of such a thing?

Well, I took full advantage of this windfall and I made this recipe for Tarragon Lobster Salad for lunch the next day. This is a very simple recipe, and since my lobster was already cooked, it was even easier. First, I made a simple dressing of finely chopped shallot, lemon juice, a little bit of mayonnaise, some chopped tarragon and a little salt and pepper. Then, I broke down the chilled lobster by taking the tail and claws and joint meat out of the shell. I cut the lobster meat into bite-sized chunks and tossed it with the dressing.

This was a great lobster salad. The dressing was light and bright, and it let the lobster -- the real star of the dish -- shine through. There was just the right amount of mayonnaise, which is key, since a lot of lobster salads have way too much mayonnaise. And what can I say about tarragon? It's one of my favorite flavors, and it's slight anise flavor goes perfectly with the lobster's sweetness.

This lobster salad would be great on a toasted hot dog roll, but The Book suggests serving it in a hollowed-out tomato. As you can see from the picture, this is a pretty elegant way to eat lobster (as if lobster wasn't already elegant). But in addition to being pretty, the tomato shell and the bed of lettuce added some substance to the dish, which was good, since my wife and I were sharing one lobster's worth of meat between the two of us. (The recipe intends for one-lobster-per-person.)

If you ever have the good fortune of a left over lobster, you must make this salad, but, even if you don't, this recipe is good enough that it's worthwhile to buy lobster just for this purpose.

Date Cooked: September 6, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Very Easy
Rating: A

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