Lobster prices in Ontario are something I will never get over. Growing up in Nova Scotia, lobster was considered a treat but an obtainable treat. But now that I live in a lake-adjacent province far from the ocean, lobster is anniversary-level fare. Well, it would be if my partner actually liked it. So in order to combat the heart-stopping price of a whole lobster, I’ve devised recipes that make a little lobster go a long way. Take today’s Lobster Wedge Salad for example. This dish makes use of four lobster tails and transforms them into a veritable feast. Is it as good as meticulously pulling apart and devouring a whole lobster? Well, no. But it sure does scratch the itch.
So what does this Lobster Wedge Salad have going on? Aside from the lobster, I mean. Baby gem lettuce wedges dressed with a tarragon vinaigrette and topped with crisp bacon, poached asparagus, hard-boiled eggs, and shaved radish. Yeah, it’s good and spring-forward. And thankfully, this salad is also fairly easy to make although it does have quite a few moving parts. But luckily every component can be made in advance with the exception of the bacon and the lobster. So let’s jump right in!
The first thing we’re going to do is tackle the eggs. Start by popping some eggs into boiling water. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. If you’re more of a runny or custardy yolk person, adjust the cook time to 6-8 minutes. I like to add a little baking soda to the water to encourage the breakdown of the shell. It makes the eggs easier to peel when they emerge from the water. Another thing that will make the eggs easier to peel is an ice bath. And if you really struggle with peeling eggs cleanly, try cooking the eggs the day before and leaving them in the fridge overnight. This approach seems to help the egg separate from its membrane, which always seems to trip me up when I’m peeling eggs.
While we’re cooking the eggs, we’re also going to blanche the asparagus. And the best part of doing this simultaneously is we can get even more mileage out of that ice bath. When it comes to blanching, we want to bring the asparagus to its perfect level of doneness. To me, this means the asparagus is tender but still retains a little bite. There is nothing worse than asparagus that has been cooked to mush. Once the asparagus reaches this point, take it off of the heat and plunge it into the ice bath as well. This will stop the cooking process, holding your asparagus in perfectly cooked stasis.
With the eggs and the asparagus tackled, let’s move on to the dressing. A creamy tarragon vinaigrette to be specific. This, like the eggs and asparagus, can be made in advance and it keeps perfectly well in the fridge for up to a week. All you have to do is pile a shallot, salt, oil, Dijon, honey, vinegar, and of course, tarragon into a bowl or mixing glass before taking an immersion blender to it. An immersion blender not only breaks up the tarragon and shallots, but it also helps emulsify the mixture. Resulting in a creamy almost mayo-like consistency. You can, of course, finely chop your herbs and shallot before whisking the oil and vinegar together to create an emulsion by hand. But I find that when you use an immersion blender, the emulsion is much more stable and less likely to separate over time.
Okay, let’s talk lobster and bacon. Like the asparagus and the egg, these two items can be tackled simultaneously. Start by mixing garlic, softened butter, and parsley together. Then cut the lobster tails in half. Lobster tails cook more evenly when split. I like to use kitchen shears to cut through the lobster shell before taking a knife to it. Once the lobster tails are in two, arrange them on a baking sheet cut side up. Spread the butter mixture on top of the lobster and set it aside.
On the same baking sheet, lay some bacon flat. You can certainly use a separate baking sheet for the bacon, but who wants to do more dishes? Pop the lobster and the bacon under the broiler. The lobster will be done before the bacon, it really only needs four minutes. Simply remove the lobster from the baking sheet and flip the bacon. Return the bacon to the oven and continue to broil until nice and crispy. Extract the lobster meat from the shell and chop it into bite-size pieces. Chop the bacon as well and set both aside.
Now, let’s put everything together. Drain the asparagus and peel the eggs before quartering them. Take a few heads of baby gem lettuce and quarter them. These are our mini wedges for our Lobster Wedge Salad. Spoon a little of the creamy tarragon vinaigrette over each wedge. Top the wedges with asparagus, lobster meat, bacon, radish, and hard-boiled eggs. Finish the salad with a couple of sprigs of fresh dill and serve immediately.
And that’s everything you need to know about this Lobster Wedge Salad. A perfectly delicious way to make a meal out of a precious amount of lobster meat.
Lobster Wedge Salad
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 small pot
- 1 immersion blender
- 1 mandoline
- 4 large eggs
- ½ tsp baking soda**
- 1 bunch asparagus ends removed, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 lobster tails halved
- 4 strips bacon
- 4 heads baby gem lettuce quartered
- 1 batch Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette see below
- 2-3 radishes shaved thin
- Fresh sprigs of dill for serving
Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette
- 1 shallot coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp tarragon leaves tightly packed
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
For the Vinaigrette
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl or a mixing glass. Use an immersion blender to blend everything together until rich and creamy. Chill until ready to serve.1 shallot, 2 tbsp tarragon leaves, 1 tsp salt, ⅔ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
For the Salad
- Place the eggs in a small pot and cover with cold water. Add the baking soda and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath and let cool for 10 minutes before peeling.4 large eggs, ½ tsp baking soda**
- Wipe out the pot you used to cook the eggs in and place the asparagus inside. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the asparagus is al dente. Transfer it to the ice bath as well and let cool for 10 minutes.1 bunch asparagus
- Place the butter, garlic, salt, and parsley in a bowl and mash the ingredients together with a fork.¼ cup unsalted butter, 1 clove garlic, 2 tbsp fresh parsley, ½ tsp salt
- Arrange the lobster tails on a baking sheet, cut side up. Spread the butter on the lobster flesh. Arrange the bacon on the baking sheet as well and place it under the broiler for 3 minutes. Take the lobster off of the baking sheet and flip the bacon, broil for 3 minutes more or until the bacon is crispy.4 lobster tails, 4 strips bacon
- Extract the lobster meat from the shell and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Chop the bacon as well and set both aside.
- Take the eggs out of the ice bath and drain the asparagus. Peel the eggs and quarter them.
- Arrange four lettuce wedges on a plate. Drizzle the lettuce with the vinaigrette. Top with asparagus, lobster, bacon, eggs, radish, and fresh dill. Repeat with the remaining wedges. Serve immediately.4 heads baby gem lettuce, 1 batch Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette, 2-3 radishes, Fresh sprigs of dill