Grilled Lobster & Summer Vegetables with Spicy Herb Butter   Recipe
Grilled Lobster & Summer Vegetables with Spicy Herb Butter

By Wolfgang Puck

Even though many people nowadays love to grill year round, the Labor Day weekend has become the traditional official end of the summer grilling season.

And that means that many outdoor grill fans are on the lookout for a recipe that will be the perfect grand finale for this year's adventures in the outdoor kitchen.

So now is the time to grill some lobster!

Yes, I know lobster can be expensive. But once in a while we all want to splurge and reward ourselves a little. And now is just the right time to do it.

Look for live lobsters from a reputable seafood shop or a supermarket that has a good fish department. You don't need super-big lobsters, which some restaurants push but actually have tougher meat than smaller specimens; a lobster weighing about 1-1/4 pounds will be fine for each person. Buy the lobsters the same day you plan to cook them; put them in a cardboard box or heavy-duty paper bag, cover them with a clean damp cloth or wet newspaper, and refrigerate until it's time to cook them.

For the best results when grilling lobster, I briefly boil them first, just until the shells turn red. Then, after they have drained and cooled briefly, I split them in half and remove their sand sacs and intestinal veins before brushing them with seasoned butter and quickly completing the cooking on the grill.

That seasoned butter gives you the chance to get creative when grilling lobster. In the recipe I share here, I combine garlic, chives, parsley, jalapeno chili, and lemon juice. In place of the jalape´┐Żo, you could use paprika or cayenne, and even add a touch of sweetness with some honey. Or leave out the spice and add fresh basil for an Italian flavor. If you prefer Asian-style lobster, mix a little soy sauce and grated fresh ginger root with the butter, garlic, and lemon, and substitute fresh cilantro for the parsley and chives. The possibilities are virtually endless. Once I've prepared the butter, I use some of it for seasoning and basting the food while it cooks; and, to avoid cross-contamination, I set aside a little beforehand to pass at the table.

One of the things I love most about grilling is that you can cook a side dish right along with your main course. In the case of this end-of-summer extravaganza, an assortment of summer vegetables is the perfect choice. Feel free to include your own seasonal favorites, including thick slices of beefsteak tomato, different colors of bell pepper, whole green onions, or even some fresh corn. After all, the more the merrier is my philosophy when I'm putting together a late-summer grill blowout!

Grilled Lobster & Summer Vegetables with Spicy Herb Butter

Serves 4

Ingredients - Spicy Herb Butter

1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 red or green jalapeno chili, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons chopped chives


Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients - Grilled Lobster & Summer Vegetables

2 1-1/4 pound lobsters

1 yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise into slices 1/4 inch thick

1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into slices 1/4 inch thick

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and cut into 4 pieces

1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


Freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

Preheat the grill.

Meanwhile, prepare the Spicy Herb Butter. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the butter, garlic, jalapeno, parsley, lemon juice, and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper and process until blended. Transfer to a small container and remove about 4 tablespoons of the mixture to another container, setting both aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Place the lobsters in the boiling water and cook them just until their shells turn red, or enough to cook the meat completely, about 3 minutes. Remove the lobsters and leave them at room temperature until they are just cool enough to handle.

Turn the lobsters on their backs on a cutting board. With a large, sharp, heavy knife, cut each lobster lengthwise in half. Pull out and discard the sand sac near the head of each lobster. With the knife tip, remove the gray intestinal vein.

Brush the meat and inside of the lobsters with some of the herbed butter from the main container, using about 1 tablespoon per lobster half. Place the lobsters on the grill cut side down and cook until the meat has grill marks and starts to turn opaque and firm up, about 5 minutes.

While the lobsters are cooking, start grilling the vegetables. Drizzle the squash, zucchini, pepper, and lemon wedges with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on the grill; then, brush them with some of the butter from the main container. Grill until tender and browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Turn the lobsters shell side down and grill them 3 to 4 minutes longer, brushing the meat with more butter from the main container.

Transfer the lobsters and vegetables to a large platter. Squeeze some of the grilled lemon wedges over the lobster meat. Pass the platter along with the 4 tablespoons of reserved butter for guests to add to their servings if they like.

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Desserts by the Yard


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