Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fresh Lobster or Shrimp Gazpacho

Summer is the perfect time for elegant, simple meals. There is nothing quite as succulent as a fresh tomato warmed by the sun. Find the farmers’ markets and farm stands in your neighborhood and purchase the flavorful, ripe wonders that grow close to home. These local fruits and vegetables will add immeasurably to your menu.

This recipe for an elegant gazpacho is enhanced with the delicate taste of lobster. It’s joined by a new summer classic that bursts with flavor: Duck Salad with Blueberries and Walnut Vinaigrette. This salad is a quintessential summer dish, incorporating both fruits and vegetables fresh from the field. Feel free to substitute your favorite herbs and vegetables to make each dish your own.

Fresh Garden Gazpacho with Lobster Medallions
This is one of the easiest versions available of this refreshing summer classic. The addition of vinegar gives it a delicious, subtle tang.

2 cups tomato juice or vegetable juice cocktail- you can choose the spicy version for a zippier soup
2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup diced canned tomatoes, with their liquid
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup seeded and finely chopped cucumber
1 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup sweet onion or scallions, finely chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 t dried
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Sprigs of fresh parsley
24 baby spinach leaves
4 cooked lobster tails or 1 lb cooked Maine shrimp

Place all of the ingredients except the parsley sprigs, baby spinach, and lobster in a large stainless steel or glass bowl. Cover and chill six hours or overnight. One at a time, place each lobster tail on your cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice along the top of each lobster tail, cutting approximately 1/4 inch into the meat. De vein. Slice each lobster tail into 3/4-inch thick pieces to create large coin-shaped medallions.

When you are ready to serve, fill each bowl with soup. Lay three baby spinach leaves in the center of each bowl. Carefully place a few lobster medallions on top of the spinach “lily pads.” Garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve.

Serves 8.
Savor. Linger. Enjoy! -Cynthia

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