Easy dinner recipes: Three lobster ideas for Gluten-Free Wednesday

Easy dinner recipes: Three lobster ideas for Gluten-Free Wednesday
(Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

It's Gluten-Free Wednesday. Splurge a little and celebrate with lobster.

Grilled lobster with shallot butter and cucumber "noodles": Simple as it may be to make, this dish is great when you're looking for something to fix outdoors and/or for company. Brush halved lobster with a compound butter flavored with shallot, parsley and lemon and grill the halves over a hot fire. Serve the lobster with a quick salad of cucumber "noodles" (the cucumber is shaved into thin strips, similar to pasta) flavored with dill, Champagne vinegar and salt.


Salt-roasted spiny lobster with saffron aioli: It's the perfect dish when you're looking for a dramatic presentation: Roast lobster in a massive salt crust. As the shellfish cooks, the salt helps to retain the moisture and intense flavor, making for a richly flavored dish. Served with a side of saffron aioli, and you may never eat lobster any other way again.

Maine lobsters grilled with herbs and lemon: You can't go wrong with a dish from chef Michael Cimarusti. Lobsters are seasoned with a little chili powder and salt, then brushed with a bright, fragrant, herbed garlic oil before grilling. Brush the lobsters again with melted butter and serve with lemon wedges and more melted butter. Sounds heavenly, right? You can find the recipe below.


Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4

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.

    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) chili 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

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

2. Fill 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.

3. Adjust 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.

4. Split 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.

5. Prepare 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.

6. Wipe 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.

7. Remove 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.

Each serving: Calories 402; Protein 34 grams; Carbohydrates 1 gram; Fiber 1 gram; Fat 29 grams; Saturated fat 4 grams; Cholesterol 256 mg; Sugar 0; Sodium 1,278 mg.

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