Cool and collected, this is now a go-to summertime splurge for us. Mint brings a fantastic brightness to most any dish, but at its peak in late June, it can bring a special relief from summer heat -- and the kitchen. Here, mint, tarragon, and cucumber bring out the best in freshly steamed lobster. In the end, it's great to learn your way around a lobster, but you can also ask your local vendor to steam it for you. And in this heat? Yeah, I thought so.
Once you've prepped the lobster, this comes together in a flash. Definitely kick back and enjoy this with a very dry, cucumber-garnished gin martini -- the pepperyness of the gin works ridiculously well here. —withinseason
- Serves 2, easily doubled
french tarragon, half leaves picked, half coarsely chopped
cucumber, roughly peeled and finely sliced
baby spinach, or other mild greens
lemon, half juiced, half in wedges
sea salt, to taste
loaf farmhouse-style bread
- Steam and remove the meat from your lobster. Break the pieces up, to your liking (we like bigger pieces). Reserve, if you like, the shells for another use, like stock. (There are many guides online for cooking and shelling a lobster).
- Prep the Dressing: Bash the tarragon leaves in a mortar and pestle. Add olive oil, lemon juice and just a touch of salt, to taste. You'll be adding the chopped tarragon to the sandwiches, so in the dressing, you're aiming for a there-but-not-THERE balance with the tarragon and lemon.
- Really, any way will do with the bread. But here's an easy way to MacGyver a farmhouse style loaf into just-right-sized rolls: Slice the bread into thick 2-3" slices. Lay each thick slice flat and cut in half. Slice each half about 3/4 through to create two thick rolls. Toast the rolls by gently pulling them open 90 degrees. These are thick, so don't try to put the whole roll in your toaster. Instead, turn your toaster to the lowest setting. Open each roll 90 degrees and toast the rolls by hanging one side into the toaster at a time.
- Assemble the sandwiches by giving each toasted roll a thin swipe of mayonnaise. Layer in the baby greens and cucumber. Pile on your lobster pieces. Add generous amounts of mint and a good scattering of the chopped tarragon. Tarragon is potent, but here, don't be shy: it will play really well with the mint and lobster. Use less than the mint, but you'll be surprised at how much of it you will want in the end. If unsure, you can start with the equiv. of a few leaves per sandwich and let people add more at the table.
- Drizzle with the tarragon dressing just before serving. Have a small plate with extra fixings out so people can grab more herbs, lemon or dressing. If any extra lobster has made it past the snacking-I-mean-shelling-station, add that to the fixings plate and let people have at it.