Lobster and Asparagus Salad
- Yield: 2 Servings
Erotic references about asparagus can be traced to ancient Greek and Roman texts. Culpepper's Complete Herbal, a seventeenth century work, states that asparagus "stirreth up the bodily lust in man or woman"
- 1 1/4 pound lobster
- The Vanilla Vinaigrette:
- 2 vanilla beans
- 1/3 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced shallots
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- pinch of sugar optional
- The Salad:
- 8-10 stalks of lightly steamed asparagus
- 2 cups mesclun salad, mixed baby lettuce
- To prepare the asparagus and lobster:Fill a pot fitted with a steamer top with salted water and bring to a boil. Steam the asparagus to al dente, remove, and allow to cool. Place the lobster in the steamer, cover, and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until the lobster is just cooked through. Remove and allow to cool.
- Crack the claws to remove the meat. Split the lobster tail down the center and remove the meat. Reserve with the lobster claws.
- To prepare the vinaigrette:Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds from the insides of the pod. Combine the split beans, vanilla seeds, and vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately remove pan from heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the split beans from the pan.
- Combine the oil and shallots in a small mixing bowl and whisk in the vinegar from the saucepan. Scrape the pan with a rubber spatula to retrieve all of the vanilla seeds.
- Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, amd a pinch of sweetener, if desired. The sweetener enhances the flavor of the vanilla.
- To assemble the salad:Divide the well-drained and cooled asparagus between two serving plates. Place the washed and well-drained salad in a mixing bowl, add 1/2 of the vinaigrette, and toss. Divide the salad between the two servings of asparagus. Cover the stems but leave the asparagus tips exposed.
- Divide the lobster and the claws between the two salads, placing them on top of the salad greens.
- Spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the lobster and asparagus tips. Serve at once.
- Course: Appetizer