Perfect for a small first course, this dish channels the summer through its ravishing colors and striking flavors.
With Melon, Cucumber, Pickled Malaysian Fennel, Spiced Seaweed and Citrus Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy Kevin Hudson, executive chef of Stelle at Gansevoort Turks + Caicos
Stelle is the newest restaurant in the deluxe Gansevoort Turks + Caicos resort in Provincials, the island outpost of the New York City-based luxury hotel. Executive Chef Kevin Hudson uses local Caribbean delicacies to craft Mediterranean-inspired fare, like this exotic lobster salad. Perfect for a small first course, this dish channels the summer through its ravishing colors and striking flavors.
- 1 medium white onion, sliced into large medallions
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 lemons, sliced in half
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- Salt, to taste
- 2 medium South Caicos spiny lobsters, about 9 ounces each (local spiny lobster may be substituted)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 piece lemongrass, about 3–4 inches long
- 1 piece fresh ginger, about 2–3 inches long, cut into large chunks
- 1?8 red onion, sliced paper thin
- ¼ bulb fennel, sliced paper thin
- ½ cucumber, seeds removed, sliced paper thin
- ¼ honeydew, rind removed, sliced paper thin
- ¼ cantaloupe melon, rind removed, sliced paper thin
Watercress sprig, to garnish
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, boil 4 cups of water with the white onion, thyme, lemons and wine. Season with salt and add the lobsters. Boil the lobsters until they are cooked through, about 6 minutes, then remove to cool. Once cool, remove the meat from the shells and chop roughly.
In a medium saucepan, create a pickling liquid by bringing the vinegar, cup of water, sugar, lemongrass and ginger to a boil. Once boiling, discard the lemongrass and ginger. In a small bowl, combine the red onion and fennel; pour the liquid on top and allow the red onion and fennel too steep until the onion’s flesh becomes soft. Remove the onion and fennel to a holding container, reserving 3 tablespoons of the pickling liquid for the citrus vinaigrette (recipe available at winemag.com/hudson). In a large bowl, toss the cucumber, melon and pickled vegetables with the citrus vinaigrette.
To serve, place half of the seaweed (recipe available at winemag.com/hudson) in a small mound on the center of a plate. Layer the cucumber, melon and pickled vegetables, and top with half of the lobster. Garnish each plate with a sprig of watercress. Serves 2.
- Citrus Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Salt, to taste
Make the vinaigrette by combining the reserved pickling liquid, orange marmalade and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil to create an emulsion and season with salt.
- Spiced Seaweed
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- ½ cup seaweed, such as kelp
For the spiced seaweed, mix the soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil and sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Add the seaweed and toss to coat with the dressing.
Hudson recommends Merry Edwards’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (91 points, $30) from the Russian River Valley. He notes that the wine’s time spent maturing in French oak adds complexity to its lively notes of melon, citrus and mineral, creating a natural pairing for warm weather and this fresh lobster recipe.
BY ANDREW HOOVER