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2000s Recipes + Menus

Grilled Lobster and Potatoes with Basil Vinaigrette

Serves4
  • Active time:45 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/2 hr
June 2007
Some of us prefer the taste of grilled lobster to boiled. The smokiness of the fire balances the richness of the meat while simultaneously intensifying its flavor.
  • 4 (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-lb) live lobsters
  • 2 lb small (1 1/2- to 2-inch) boiling potatoes (preferably yellow-fleshed)
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 lb baby arugula (about 10 cups loosely packed)
  • Accompaniment:

    lemon wedges
  • Plunge lobsters headfirst into a 12-quart pot (see cooks’ note, below) of boiling salted water (see Tips). Cook, covered, over high heat 4 minutes (for 1 1/4-lb lobster) to 5 minutes (for 1 1/2-lb lobster) from time they enter water. Transfer with tongs to a large colander to drain and cool. (Lobsters will not be fully cooked.) Return cooking water to a boil.
  • Add potatoes to boiling water and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  • When lobsters are cool enough to handle, twist off claws (including knuckles) and crack with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Halve lobsters lengthwise using a large heavy knife. Reserve green tomalley and any orange roe from bodies for another use if desired.
  • Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderately high heat for gas); see “Grilling Procedure.”
  • While grill heats, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, red-pepper flakes, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until well blended, then stir in basil.
  • Halve potatoes. Oil grill rack, then grill potatoes, cut sides down, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Keep potatoes warm, covered.
  • Oil grill rack, then grill 4 lobster halves, cut sides down, and all of claws, covered only if using a gas grill, until grill marks appear on meat, about 4 minutes. Turn over bodies and claws and grill in same manner 4 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1/4 cup vinaigrette, then keep warm, covered. Grill remaining lobster halves in same manner and add to same bowl, tossing to coat.
  • Arrange arugula on a large platter and top with grilled lobster and potatoes. Drizzle with 1/2 cup vinaigrette and serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Lobsters can be cooked in 2 batches in an 8- to 10-quart pot.
  • If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, lobsters and potatoes can be cooked in a hot oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderately high heat.
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