Lobster Salad with White Beans and Fresh Thyme

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I love the textural combination of starchy beans with chewy lobster or shrimp, as well as the way these beans absorb flavor from their marination in Sherry Vinaigrette. Pink lobster, white beans, and bright salad greens make this a beautiful dish.

Nothing is as elegant as lobster, so I recommend serving this as an appetizer for a special dinner party. For 3 cups lobster meat, you will need about 6 pounds of boiled lobster. Or buy whole lobsters or tail, claw, or knuckle meat already cooked. If you can’t find really good tomatoes, leave them out. But shop around, because Florida tomatoes are available even in the winter.


Order of preparation:

• Boil the lobsters and refrigerate.

• cook the beans.

• While the beans are cooking, prepare the Sherry Vinaigrette.

• Toss the greens with the dressing.

Make-ahead notes:

• The cooked lobster meat can be refrigerated up to 12 hours.

• The cooked beans can be refrigerated up to 1 day.

• The Sherry Vinaigrette can be refrigerated up to 3 weeks; whisk to recombine before using.

Makes6 appetizer or luncheon servings


Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Textureherby, rich, savory, sharp, sweet, tangy, tart

Type of Dishfirst course salad, main course salad, salad


  • 1½ cups dried Great Northern beans
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Sherry Vinaigrette 
  • 10 sprigs thyme, leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, cut into small dice
  • ½ red onion, cut into small dice
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 3 cups mesclun or mixed greens
  • 3 cups cooked lobster meat, cut into ½-inch pieces


  1. Place the beans in a medium saucepan, with cold water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well. In a mixing bowl, combine the beans with ¼ cup of the vinaigrette and the thyme, tomatoes, and onion. Cool to room temperature. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. In a large bowl, toss the mesclun with ¼ cup of the vinaigrette.

  3. Place about ½ cup of the white bean salad on each of 6 plates. Arrange the greens and lobster meat in 3 small alternating mounds around them. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette.

  4. Variations:

  5. Substitute 18 cooked jumbo shrimp, shelled and left whole, for the lobster.

  6. For Sherry Vinaigrette, substitute Lobster Vinaigrette.

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