Recipe: Maine lobsters grilled with herbs and lemon

Grilled lobster with a herb marinade.
Grilled lobster with a herb marinade.
(Bret Hartman / For The Times)

45 minutes. 4 servings

4 (1½-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 1¼ teaspoons (8 grams) sea salt, plus more for seasoning the lobsters

Champagne or white wine vinegar

4 lemons

Espelette powder or cayenne pepper, for seasoning the lobsters

Salted butter for brushing the lobsters and melted for the table


1. Make the herbed oil: Place the garlic oil in the bowl of a food processor along with the basil, parsley, chile flakes and 1¼ teaspoons sea salt. Pulse to blend together, but do not fully purée; 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.



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

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.