Lobster with Dutch Asparagus
A raft of white asparagus holds bits of lobster and Bibb lettuce, mache, and frisee, accented with shavings of foie gras. The lobster and greens are arranged randomly on the asparagus, sometimes stacked on one another, sometimes simply placed on the asparagus alone. In his restaurant, Chef Rive uses greens called "sea leaves," a Dutch native that grows along the coast. Sea leaves are naturally salty -- but not usually found outside of the Netherlands. Replace their natural saltiness with a few sprinklings of fleur de sel.
- Herbed Olive Oil
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 2 cups
- Chervil - parsley leaf,
- Flat parsley leaf - 1, chopped
- Tarragon - 1 sprig
- Thyme - 1 sprig
- Champagne Vinaigrette
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Champagne Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Herbed olive oil (above) - 3/4 cup
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Hard-boiled egg - 4
- White Asparagus - 20 large stalks
- Lobster Tails - 2, in the shell
- Lobster claws - 4, in the shell
- Bibb lettuce - 1 head
- Mache - 8 pieces
- Frisee - 4 pieces
- Foie gras - 1/4 pound, cooked
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Fleur de Sel
To prepare the herbed olive oil: Put the oil and herbs in a saucepan and bring to just below a boil over medium-high heat. Remove and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Store in a sealed container in a dark place until ready to use.
To make the champagne vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum bowl and whisk vigorously to combine (emulsify). Set aside.
To prepare the egg garnish: Cut the eggs in half and separate the whites and yolks; grate each separately. Cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
To prepare the asparagus: Clean the asparagus and place in lightly salted cold water to soak for 1 to 2 hours. Drain, pat dry, and peel. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the asparagus, cover with two layers of foil, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook 1-1/2 minutes, until the asparagus is just tender; remove and drain. Slice each piece lengthwise into two thin planks. Keep warm. Cook in batches if necessary; do not crowd the asparagus in the pan.
To prepare the lobster: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the lobster tails and claws and poach for 4 to 5 minutes; remove. If you have them, put 1 sprig sea leaves into the hot water for 20 to 30 seconds; remove, plunge into ice water to stop the cooking, and drain.
Let the lobster tails and claws cool enough to handle, then remove the shells. Keep the claws whole. Pull the black strip from the tails and slice each tail into medallions. Cut each medallion in half.
To serve: Prepare the salad while the asparagus is still warm. Pull apart the lettuce. Separate the mache into individual leaves. Pull each piece of frisee into 3 bits. Slice the foie gras into 12 thin shavings. Place 10 asparagus slices parallel to one another on each chilled serving plate. Randomly dot with lettuce, mache leaves, and frisee bits. Place the lobster medallions randomly on the greens and top with sea leaves (optional). Season the foie gras with salt and pepper and tuck three pieces into the greens on each plate. Place a lobster claw on top. Whisk the champagne vinaigrette vigorously again and drizzle over the salads. Garnish with grated egg white and yolk and sprinkles of herbed olive oil. Sprinkle fleur de sel lightly over each salad.