We found this recipe in Ina Garten’s cookbook, “Barefoot Contessa Family Style,” and loved it. Â Ina recommends that you “make this elegant salad when your mother-in-law comes for lunch,” but unfortunately, my mother-in-law doesn’t prefer lobster. Â More for me! Â Only kidding (Hi Elaine!) — you can also make this salad with chicken or shrimp and it will still be delicious and decadent. Â We think it’s the combination of Dijon in the dressing, bacon and blue cheese topping, peppery arugula and creamy avocado that make this salad exceptional. Â As Ina says, “this is a special meal for times when you really want to please someone.”
The dressing ingredients include Dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Â So simple, and so good. Â The salad ingredients are also pretty basic: Â arugula, lobster, bacon, tomatoes, avocado and blue cheese.
Although the recipe only called for arugula, we added some spinach for another level of flavor, and because it’s so darn healthy. Â A special meal is even better when it’s good for you too.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Â The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of lemon juice and estimated that it would take two lemons. Â We got almost 1/4 cup with just one lemon and it was plenty.
Cut the lobster into bite-sized pieces and halve the grape or cherry tomatoes. Â We don’t cook lobster all that often (it’s expensive!), but when we do, we almost always buy and cook extra so that we can make the most of it — stretch it into two special occasions instead of one. Â For this salad, we used leftover grilled lobster tails.
Season the lobster and tomatoes with salt and pepper and toss with a drizzle of the vinaigrette — just enough to moisten.
Cut the avocado into 1/4 inch pieces and gently toss with the juice of about half a lemon. Â This step helps to prevent the avocado from turning brown, and the citrus brightens up the avocado flavor. Â (And apparently, I’m in need of a good quality hand moisturizer.)
Combine the arugula (and spinach), lobster and tomato mixture, avocado, and crumbled bacon and blue cheese; toss with more of the vinaigrette and serve. Â All the ingredients and flavors come together so well to create, in Dan’s words, “a symphony in every bite.” Â Behind nearly every post here at Foodie Lawyer is a discussion between the two of us about what we did or didn’t like about the meal. Â Every now and then, Dan gets a little excessive with the hyperbole (no, really), but such is not the case here. Â This really is an outstanding salad that turns an ordinary weeknight meal into a special occasion.