“What is it about vanilla that works so well with lobster?” a friend asked me. I huffed and said, “Well, of course its … hmmm.” I really had no idea, and I still don’t. This recipe came about more or less by accident, and I can’t really explain why it's just one of those magical combinations that works. Sometimes its better not to ask too many questions.
- 4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
- 4 2-pound live lobsters
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh strained lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cantaloupe, halved and seeded
- 1 mango, pitted
- 1 papaya, halved and seeded
- 1 large avocado, halved and pitted
- 2 cups mixed baby greens
For the Lobsters:
Fill a large pot with water. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into the water; add the beans. Bring the water to a boil. Working with 1 lobster at a time, submerge the lobsters headfirst into the boiling water, and cook until the shells are bright red and the meat is opaque, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the lobsters to a large bowl; cool. Remove the meat from the tails and claws. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
For the Salad:
Whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in a large bowl to blend. Gradually add the oil, whisking until the vinaigrette is well blended. Season to taste with fleur de sel and pepper.
Using a melon baller, scoop out, the flesh of each fruit to form small balls.
To Finish and Serve:
Cut the lobster tails lengthwise in half. Toss the lobster tails and claw meat in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Arrange 2 claw meat pieces in the center of each of 4 large plates. Arrange 2 lobster halves around the claw meat pieces. Toss the mixed baby greens in the same large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat (about 2 tablespoons). Mound the greens atop the lobster pieces, dividing equally. Toss all the fruit with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette. Arrange the fruit around the greens and serve immediately.