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Lobster Salad

4 one and a quarter to one and a half pound lobsters, cooked

1 yellow pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 avocado, peeled and cubed 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
24 niçoise olives (or calamata olives), pitted
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
24 croutons of stale focaccia, cut into cubes
8 cups baby lettuces such as mizuna, chicory, watercress, and magenta spinach.

Lemon-Basil Dressing

2 tablespoons Pommery (or dijon, or regular mustard) mustard
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
16 basil leaves, very thinly sliced (save 12 whole basil leaves for a salad garnish)
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine in a small jar; cover, and shake well. For a creamier texture, mix in a blender.

Break off claws from each lobster at the knuckle. Separate tails from bodies by twisting. (Reserve lobster bodies for another use.) Discard the heads. Using scissors, cut along the underside of the shell of each lobster. Remove the shell, keeping the tail meat in one piece. With a knife, devein each tail. Break off the small section of each claw. Using the back of a heavy knife, crack the large section of each claw. Remove the shell, keeping the claw meat in one section. Cut knuckles apart with scissors and remove meat. Cut meat into cubes, reserving claws for garnish.

In a large bowl, combine cubed lobster, peppers, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olives, salt, and pepper. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing; gently toss. Add the croutons, and let the mixture stand for 10 to 15 minutes, then toss again. Line a large platter with greens, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Transfer salad to platter. Garnish with reserved lobster claws and basil leaves.


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