We found this recipe in Ina Garten’s cookbook, “Barefoot Contessa Family Style,” and loved it. 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. More for me! Only kidding (Hi Elaine!) — you can also make this salad with chicken or shrimp and it will still be delicious and decadent. 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. 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. So simple, and so good. The salad ingredients are also pretty basic: 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. A special meal is even better when it’s good for you too.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of lemon juice and estimated that it would take two lemons. 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. 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. 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. This step helps to prevent the avocado from turning brown, and the citrus brightens up the avocado flavor. (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. All the ingredients and flavors come together so well to create, in Dan’s words, “a symphony in every bite.” 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. Every now and then, Dan gets a little excessive with the hyperbole (no, really), but such is not the case here. This really is an outstanding salad that turns an ordinary weeknight meal into a special occasion.