Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, June 2000.
I'm just back from a long weekend in Maine and I have lobster on my brain! My favorite meal there was lunch at The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport. The lobster roll is pure simplicity and so good! Each toasted roll consists of meat from a one-pound lobster: claw, knuckle and tail. You can order it with butter, mayonnaise or both and then sit down at one of the picnic tables and enjoy it with some tart, homemade lemonade from the stand right there on the sidewalk.
I'm not even going to try to imitate that roll here at home. They are able to pump in fresh seawater from the river to use for their lobster tanks and for the cauldrons used to steam the lobsters. Additionally, the owner insists on hand-shredding the lobster meat as he feels cutting it with a knife changes the flavor of the meat. It's those kind of details which contribute to the nuanced deliciousness of those best-eaten-on-site rolls. However, there is a wonderful lobster salad which I love to make several times each summer. I found the recipe 16 years ago in Gourmet Magazine and have been making it ever since. To make it easy and simple, I usually buy cooked, fresh lobster meat. For even fresher flavor, you can cook your own lobsters.
What to drink with this dish? Most recently I enjoyed a lovely dry Italian rosé from one of my favorite producers in Campania, Mastroberardino, but any dry rosé would work perfectly (see my favorite french rosés). The additional body from the red grapes helps these refreshing wines hold up to a rich shellfish like lobster.
Serves 4 main courses or 8 appetizers
1 & 1/2 lb cooked fresh lobster meat
1 lb small red potatoes
3 ears corn
For the vinaigrette:
2 & 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup coarsely chopped frisée (French curly endive) or substitute any lettuce of your choice
1/3 cup sliced scallion
1) Bring a pot of salted water to boil and simmer potatoes until just tender, 15-20 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, reserving boiling water in pot.
2) Boil corn in same water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes, then drain.
3) Cut lobster meat into 1-inch pieces (or shred with your fingers!). Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch pieces and cut corn from cobs.
4) Make vinaigrette: whisk together lemon juice, tarragon, mustard, salt and sugar until combined, then add oil in a thin stream, whisking.
5) Assemble salad: just before serving, toss together lobster, potatoes, corn, vinaigrette, tomatoes, frisée, and scallion in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.