Grilled Lobster with Vegetable Vinaigrette
Split lobsters are cooked with thyme and served with a vinaigrette filled with a confetti of brightly colored diced vegetables. While the dish is simplicity itself to prepare, it is an elegant variation on grilled lobster. Chef Joho suggests serving it with grilled asparagus and hot bread.
- Maine Lobsters - 2 (about 1-1/2 lbs each)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 teaspoons
- Thyme - 1 sprig, fresh
- Watercress - 1 bunch
- Zucchini - 1 teaspoon, finely diced
- Carrots - 1 teaspoon, finely diced
- Leek - 1 teaspoon, finely diced
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 1 teaspoon, finely diced
- Red Bell Pepper - 1 teaspoon, finely diced
- Green Bell Pepper - 1 teaspoon, finely diced
- Walnut Oil - 3 teaspoons
- Shallots - 1 teaspoon, finely diced
- Alsace Riesling wine - 1 oz
- Fish stock - 2 oz
- Mixed Herbs - 1 teaspoon, chopped (dill, basil, tarragon, parsley, chives)
- Butter - 1 teaspoon
- Tomato - 1 small, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To prepare the lobsters: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Plunge the lobsters head-first into the water and cook 3 minutes. Remove with tongs; plunge into a bowl of ice water. Drain.
Prepare a grill for direct heat cooking: Light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until covered with light grey ash. Or, light a gas grill according to manufacturer’s directions. Place the cooking grate on top and let it heat for a minute or two until hot.
Cut each lobster in half lengthwise. Separate the claws and legs from the bodies. Brush the lobsters with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh thyme. Place the claws on the grill and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove and set aside; place the bodies on the grill, shell-side down, and grill about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
While the lobsters are cooking, prepare the sauce: Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add all the diced vegetables except the shallots. Let the water return to a boil, then remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon or wire skimmer and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain, then spread on paper towels. Blot gently to remove excess water. Heat a small skillet on top of the grill. Add the walnut oil and shallots; cook until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the blanched vegetables and cook 2 more minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by about one third. Add the fish stock and cook for 2 more minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, then stir in the herbs and tomato. Set aside away from the heat.
To serve: Place the lobsters on a platter, open side up. Ladle warm vinaigrette over each lobster. Garnish each with a watercress bouquet.