Lobster tops off a festive main-dish salad

DINNER TONIGHT

October 06, 2004|By Carol Mighton Haddix | Carol Mighton Haddix,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

It's nice to splurge. Even when rushed on a weeknight, you may run across times when a celebration is in order. Bring out the lobster, I say! Stashed neatly in your freezer, of course, ready to be thawed quickly and turned into a festive main-dish salad.

Be as generous as you like. This salad is imminently flexible, so you can serve as much lobster in it as you can afford. And, if this is all too fancy for you, shrimp makes an excellent stand-in.

Serve with a flute of champagne, some crusty bread and a chocolate tart and you'll soon forget that it's just a weeknight.

Tips:

Buy already cooked lobster or crab meat at the fish counter. Or, cook the lobster ahead of time and chill.

Buy chopped and packaged bell peppers in the produce aisle.

Menu:

Mango salad with lobster and a lime vinaigrette

French rolls with butter

Chocolate tart

Champagne

Mango Salad With Lobster and Lime Vinaigrette

Preparation time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 5 minutes

Makes 4 servings

VINAIGRETTE:

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 green onions, minced

juice and zest from 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon each: sugar, salt

freshly ground pepper

about 1/3 cup canola oil

SALAD:

one 12-ounce frozen lobster tail or 12 ounces cooked shrimp

1 ripe mango

8 ounces mixed baby greens

1/2 yellow or red bell pepper, diced

Combine cilantro, onions, lime juice and zest, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper to taste in small bowl; whisk until smooth. Whisk in oil until smooth. Taste for seasoning; whisk in more oil, if too tart.

Prepare lobster or shrimp according to package directions; cool. Remove from shells; cut into pieces.

Holding the mango upright, carefully cut the two rounded sides away from the large seed. Score the fruit into cubes without cutting through the peel; push the peel side to turn the cubes inside out. Cut the mango cubes away from the peel.

Divide greens among 4 dinner plates; top each with mango cubes, yellow pepper and lobster pieces. Drizzle each with lime vinaigrette.

Per serving: 351 calories; 22 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 65 milligrams cholesterol; 23 grams carbohydrate; 19 grams protein; 442 milligrams sodium; 4 grams fiber

- Recipe and analysis from the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper

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