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Fish and Shellfish, Grilled, Mains

Maine lobsters grilled with herbs and lemon

Maine lobsters grilled with herbs and lemon
Bret Hartman / For The Times

I ate my share of lobsters while spending summers in Rhode Island. My family still talks about the 10-pounder we bought from a shop in Galilee. We spent an hour scouring the neighborhood looking for someone who owned a pot ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4
  • 4 (1 1/2-pound) Maine lobsters, preferably female
  • 1 cup (400 grams) garlic-infused olive oil (see note)
  • 2 cups lightly packed (40 grams) basil leaves, stems removed
  • 1 1/2 cups, lightly packed (40 grams) parsley leaves, stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons (2 grams) chile flakes
  • About 1 1/4 teaspoons (8 grams) sea salt, plus more for seasoning the lobsters
  • Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • Espelette powder or cayenne pepper, for seasoning the lobsters
  • Salted butter for brushing the lobsters and melted for the table
  • 4 lemons

Step 1Make the herbed oil: Place the garlic oil in the bowl of a food processor along with the basil, parsley, chile flakes and 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt. Pulse to blend together, but do not fully puree; it is best left slightly coarse.

Step 2Fill a pot large enough to accommodate the lobsters with cold water. Add enough sea salt to the water to approximate the salinity of the ocean. Add enough vinegar for the acidity to be noticeable but not strong. (You could also add herb stems, bay leaves and peppercorns, if you'd like.) Bring the water to a boil and add the lobsters.

Step 3Adjust the flame as needed to maintain a simmer, nothing more. Cook the lobsters for 3 minutes, then remove to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain the cooled lobsters.

Step 4Split the lobsters and remove the digestive tract and tomalley. If there is dark green roe in the lobster, make every effort to leave it undisturbed. Dab the flesh of the lobster with paper towels to dry.

Step 5Prepare the lobsters for the grill: Season the flesh of the lobsters lightly with sea salt and espelette, and brush the flesh with the herbed oil. Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium high.

Step 6Wipe down the grates with a touch of oil and allow it to burn off for several minutes. Place the lobsters, shell side down, for the first 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Flip the lobsters, lightly brushing the shells with a touch of melted butter and sprinkling of sea salt. Cook the lobster, flesh side down, for 2 to 3 more minutes.

Step 7Remove the lobsters from the grill; the roe should have turned from green to red, and the flesh will be slightly caramelized. Brush the flesh with softened butter to make it glisten. Serve with lemon.

Note: To make garlic oil, place 4 to 5 crushed garlic cloves with a 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil in a pan. Infuse over a very low flame for 2 hours; this makes more oil than is needed for the recipe, the rest can be refrigerated until needed.


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