Here we are smack dab in the heart of summer. It’s hot, hot, hot out there, and while I do my share of complaining about the hazy hot and humidness, I secretly love it, and will take it over February any day of the week.We are also happily right in the middle of fresh Jersey tomato season. None of those hard, pale-red supermarket February tomatoes…we have THESE now, in every variety from tiny heirloom varieties to big old beefsteaks…
…and along with tomato season comes fresh corn season. Fresh, sweet corn that is so tender you sometimes don’t even have to cook it.
Which is the case with this recipe. Now, you know my philosophy on lobsters, which is that cracking and eating lobster out of the shell is something that is better done in a really great seafood restaurant at the shore, where someone else gets to both cook the lobster and clean up all the flying pieces of lobster shell and lobster juice that sail all over the place. If you are going to go to the time and extravagance of making lobsters at home, let’s make it a happy, peaceful experience that even the cook (ahem!) can enjoy. My all-time favorite recipe for this is something called The Way Life Should Be, but I think this gorgeous salad of fresh lobster, sweet corn and summer tomatoes is a close second.Two preparation notes. You really do need one lobster per person to make this dish all that it should be, and ask your supermarket to steam it for you right in the store, so you are going home with nice freshly cooked lobster. Then all you need to do is talk someone into taking the meat out of the shell. (I don’t even have to ask the Southern husband to do this any more. He sees the lobster come in the door and he springs into action. There is, after all, a great dinner in it for him at the end.)
And the corn…as I mentioned above, if you get great young corn, you don’t even have to cook it. Just cut those kernels off the cob and toss them in the bowl. They will be perfect just as they are. If you really need to cook your corn to feel like everything is right with the world, then drop the cut-off kernels into simmering water for about 1 or 2 minutes, tops. You want the corn nice and crunchy in this recipe.
Lobster, corn, tomatoes…do it now. Summer is speeding along!
Tarragon Lobster Salad with Corn and Tomatoes, adapted from Emeril LaGasse’s recipe