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Lobster Salad with Tarragon-Wine Reduction

October 20, 2013

This is yet another way to make use of any leftover lobster shells. There’s a lot of flavour to be drawn out of what most people throw in the trash. And based on the number of web search results I see for “leftover lobster shells,” a lot of interest in ways to use these things.

Of course leftover lobster meat is far less common than leftover shells, at least in our house. We used two, raw frozen tails for this salad (sadly lobster season is over). You could use any meat you had available. You could make this without using any meat at all and still end up with a fantastic salad.

As just about always, I’m cooking for two but this recipe will make more than enough sauce to serve up a salad course for four. Just double the salad ingredients and the amount of vinaigrette.

I always have extra shellfish shells in the freezer (lobster, shrimp and crab shells should always go here rather than in the garbage). You can use any combination of your fresh or frozen shells.

If you’re using raw lobster tails like we were and want to steam them with the wine like we did, be sure to use a pot that you can fit a steamer overtop.

lobster salad 2

Lobster Salad with Tarragon-Wine Reduction

For the sauce:
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 cups dry white wine
about 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
2 raw lobster tails (optional), removed from their shells
a good couple handfuls of shellfish shells broken into pieces (preferably lobster, also shrimp or crab)
1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
about 1 tsp corn starch

For the salad:
about 2 cups or so mixed greens
1/2 oz or so crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup or so artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 thin slice from a red onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds

Vinaigrette:
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

photo(3)1. Melt the butter in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the shallot until beginning to soften, about three minutes. Add the wine, tarragon, salt and pepper, and shellfish shells. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until wine has reduced by about half (about 10 minutes). If you’re steaming the lobster tails, do this in the steamer above the wine reduction. Note the tails will probably take less than ten minutes–it took 7 or 8 for ours. Remove the tails and cover once the flesh becomes plump and turns bright red.

2. Pour the sauce through a strainer to remove the shells, then return to the heat. Add all but a tablespoon of the cream and keep it on a low simmer (but don’t let it boil) for about 5 minutes or so to let the sauce thicken slightly. Finally, whisk together the corn starch with the reserved cream and add that to the sauce. Stir will you cook for about another five minutes, until the sauce has thickened, then remove from the heat.

3. In the meantime, whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Toss the salad ingredients in a large bowl together with the vinaigrette (there should be just enough to moisten the greens, but no more). Plate the salad, top with the lobster if you have any, drizzle the sauce over the lobster and the salad and serve. Note there’s a lot of flavour in this sauce, a little goes a long way.

lobster salad 1

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From → Food, Recipes

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