Ideas for interesting sides / apps for a lobster cookout?

Having a lobster cookout at my house next weekend for some friends from the city (NYC). Trying to think of interesting sides / apps rather than just corn on the cob. Maybe grill small lamb chops first? Any suggestions would be great! thank you!



amysarah July 31, 2014
I agree about the lamb chops - love them, but with lobster I'd do something very summery like gazpacho or clam chowder. Also if you can get local corn on the cob, I wouldn't worry about it being 'just' - with some really good butter and crunchy sea salt, I can't think of anything better with lobster. I made lobster a couple of weeks ago and did my corn pudding with basil (on this site, if you're interested) - great combo, but as mainecook61 aptly points out, the 'run off' from lobster makes a separate plate for sides a good idea. (We had prosciutto with melon as a first - not traditional, but it was went really well.) Also, take a look at the how-to galette article here yesterday - blueberries are wonderful in a galette and maybe that's a bit more unusual than pie (and easier!)
mainecook61 July 31, 2014
Lobster is rich food. I can't imagine serving lamb chops as well. Lobster should stay simple. The suggestion to start with chowder is an excellent one---or maybe some simply prepared mussels. Corn on the cob is a good idea (if the corn is fresh and local) because you've got all of that butter lying about from the lobster course. A simple salad is nice afterwards. Also, sides are tricky as a go-with: the lobster makes a watery mess on the plate, so any other dishes are best before or after. And there's a reason that a big blueberry pie ( or any pie) is de rigueur: the berries are in season and lobster, being simple, is a good excuse for a nice dessert. There's a reason this is the formula at the lobster pounds; lobster, being lobster, outshines its competitors at the table.
seth10597 July 31, 2014
thanks guys! really appreciate all the help!
Susan W. July 31, 2014
We're all patiently waiting for our invites. ;0) Do report back and let us know what you decided on and how it went.
Pegeen July 30, 2014
Hi Susan W and everyone… I think you’re right, no need to “fill people up” with sides and sideline the lobster… but I think some sides (if only a green salad and an elegant hot pasta or cold pasta salad, or a potato salad) are needed for a lobster meal. Typically the lobsters are 1 to 1.5 lbs. and the majority of that weight is shell. That’s often not enough lobster meat to satisfy most people’s appetites at a meal.
Susan W. July 30, 2014
We always do a fun app to get people's mouths watering and simply serve the lobster with a pretty grouping of roasted or grilled asparagus with a balsamic glaze and maybe a piece of grilled bread. We've done this for generations. We always have somemores for dessert. We always have our lobster or abalone feasts down on the beach in SD with big fires in the cement fire pits. I'd be totally okay with my lobster or abalone and dessert. :0) Oh...also, free flowing sparkling wine or champagne. Very important ingredient. :)
savorthis July 30, 2014
We have a friend who flew in a bunch of lobsters last summer and I made a cold corn soup to go with it. Cut kernels off cob. Saute some onion/leek/garlic/ginger, add cobs, corn and water and simmer until the broth is fairly flavorful. Remove cobs, scraping all the corn you can, blend soup. You can strain through a fine mesh strainer if you want, season with s&p. Then I put a drizzle of chili garlic/sesame oil/rice vinegar on top.

I would not have thought to start with lamb, but am rather partial to these:

And finally, lobster and crab are both great with miso butter noodles. We have tried and tried to recreate the garlic noodles from Crustacean in SF. This is the closest we have come: and it reminded me of David Chang's Potatoes & Clams in Bacon Dashi which would also be an awesome side dish.

And don't forget to save all the lobster bodies for stock!!! It took me a whole day last summer to cook stock after our lobster fest, but it was so worth it to have lobster stock in the freezer.
Pegeen July 30, 2014
A really fresh summer corn salad: corn sliced off the cob, the best cherry tomatoes halved, or seeded and chopped large tomatoes, minced red onion, chopped basil and a nice vinaigrette. A little lemon or lime in the vinaigrette would be terrific with the lobster. It's refreshing and full of flavor but won't overwhelm the more delicate taste of lobster.

Here are some other delicious versions:

Dilled, Crunchy Sweet-Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Fresh corn polenta with avocado and tomato salad

Charred corn and avocado salad with lime, chili and tomato
ChefJune July 30, 2014
The lamb appy sounds great, but how about deviling lamb ribs? I'd do a scallion butter in the summer, though.
ChefJune July 30, 2014
Instead of "just corn," I like Maque Choux (no animal protein in the side) and one of my favorite ways to serve potato salad these days is this play on Salade Niçoise (again w/o animal protein. Both easy, impressive, delicious and -- best of all -- DO AHEAD!
savorthis July 30, 2014
Mmmmmmaque choux! When my husband cooked at Postrio in SF he would make that and we would eat it at home with all sorts of roasted/grilled meats. Thanks for the reminder. We made ours with bacon, cream, and lots of fresh herbs like tarragon.
Talia R. July 30, 2014
I just got back from Maine, and there's no better warm-up for lobster than a bowl of clam chowder! Or even corn chowder for the vegetarians in the crowd.
seth10597 July 30, 2014
That is a good point, maybe keep it simple, don't fill people up with sides just because I feel like I NEED sides.
Susan W. July 30, 2014
Exactly!! Really, any side will pale next to the lobster so just keep it to a minimum because most people will take a bite or two and concentrate on the lobster.
Susan W. July 30, 2014
After thinking about it, I really think sides with lobster are there because we think we need to provide them. I still like the idea of the single lamb chop popsicle alongside the lobster. Lemon, butter, a fork and a nutcracker are all you would need to make me happy. Maybe a couple of roasted asparagus spears on the plate with a balsamic glaze would be nice. We have an abalone feed every year at my mom's in San Diego and that's what we do.
Liza's K. July 30, 2014
Typically lobsters are served with small red potatoes and corn on the cob. Other interesting sides might include steamer clams, iceberg salad with blue cheese, buttermilk clusters (like a cross between biscuits and dinner rolls), chips and guacamole, roasted cauliflower, grilled asparagus with white miso (miso pairs well with lobster), pasta salad, and oysters. Hope this helps!
Susan W. July 30, 2014
I love the idea of lamb chop popsicles. Sort of a fun twist on steak and lobster. Also, Ina Garten's roasted shrimp cocktail is a favorite appetizer of mine and you can prepare it ahead of time. I like the shrimp at room temp served with an aoli. We've been talking about rice paper rolls around here recently. Click on the splash page article about them and look at the comments for variations.
Recommended by Food52