Lobster prices are pretty good all around this summer – low enough to be affordable to the consumer, but hopefully high enough so the fishermen can make some money. If you tire of your basic steamed-in-the-shell lobster dinner, here are two wonderful recipes for picked-out meat. The general yield is about 1 cup of chopped meat per 1 1/4-pound soft shell lobster; hard shells yield considerably more.

SUMMER LOBSTER SALAD

This composed version of lobster salad is flavored with a piquant dressing seasoned with mustard and tarragon and is decorated brightly with snow peas and radishes.

Servings: 4

Creamy Dijon-Tarragon Dressing:

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons chopped tarragon, plus sprigs for garnish

Salad:

3 1/2 cups diced cooked lobster meat

2/3 cup minced celery

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bibb lettuce leaves

1 cup trimmed and blanched snow peas

4 radishes, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest and juice, and chopped tarragon. (Can be made up to a day ahead.)

In a large bowl, toss together the lobster, celery, and scallions. Add most of the dressing and stir gently but thoroughly to mix. (Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.)

To serve, stir the salad, adding more dressing if necessary, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Line a large platter with the lettuce leaves, spoon salad over, and arrange snow peas and radishes around the edge. Garnish with tarragon sprigs and serve.

LOBSTER CAKES ON LOCAL GREENS

I’ve taken my formula for crab cakes and adapted it to lobster meat. Why not? Servings: 4

1 lemon

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 egg

1/4 cup finely chopped scallions or chives

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs or Panko crumbs

1 pound lobster meat, roughly chopped into ½-inch chunks

2 tablespoons light olive oil or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons butter

4 handfuls mixed mesclun greens

About 1/4 cup homemade or good quality bottled vinaigrette

Lemon wedges

Grate 2 teaspoons zest and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from the lemon. In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lemon, egg, scallions, and pepper. Stir in the crumbs. Add the lobster meat and stir gently but thoroughly to combine. Shape mixture into 8 patties, about 1/2-inch thick, and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours, covered, until cakes are firm.

In two large skillets, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Cook the lobster cakes, uncovered, until nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the undersides are golden and the cakes are hot in the center, about 3 minutes.

Mound the greens on plates or a serving platter and drizzle lightly with vinaigrette. Serve the lobster cakes on top of the greens and garnish with lemon wedges.

 

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Dishing Up Maine” (Storey Publishing 2006) and “The New England Clam Shack Cookbook” (Storey 2008). She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula.