Potato and Lobster Salad

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I have been lucky enough to spend almost every summer of my life on Cape Cod.  My Grandparents owned a house in Falmouth, MA, and my sister and I spent our summers splashing in the bay, hunting for hermit crabs and enjoying the beautiful sunsets on our deck overlooking Sippewissett Marsh.  

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As we grew older, our time on the Cape was cut short for sports camps, internships, and later in life, full-time jobs, but we both share the same love for the Cape we had when we were children.  Needless to say, we visit every opportunity we get.

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For the last 3 years, I have had the pleasure of spending the 4th of July on Martha’s Vineyard with my boyfriend and his family.  They share the same affinity for the Cape as I do, breathing in the salty air, enjoying the rocky coastlines, drinking in the picturesque sunsets and chowing down on clam chowder, and, of course, lobster.

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This year, we decided to forego the annual trek to Edgartown to view the fireworks, and decided to have a nice meal in, grilling out and enjoying a lovely glass of Rose on the porch.  Tasked with making a side, I was naturally inclined to make potato salad, which, in my opinion, should make an appearance at any barbecue.

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I wanted to make something special, since it is 4th of July and all, and my mind immediately went to a recipe I saw in Ina Garten’s new cookbook:  Lobster and Potato salad.  Since we’re on the vineyard, this recipe couldn’t seem more perfect.

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I adore Ina, but her recipes don’t always relate to people who do not have an unlimited grocery budget.  Her recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio of lobster to potato – an entire 1.5 lbs.  I wasn’t prepared to spend a fortune on potato salad, so I cut the lobster down to a 6th and reversed the title, since this is definitely more of a potato salad than a lobster salad with the new ratio.  Frankly if lobster isn’t in the budget at all, this recipe would be just as delicious.  But when on the vineyard…

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Recipe:  Potato and Lobster Salad

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Lobster and Potato salad

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds unpeeled Yukon gold potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tbs white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (I used the leftover Pinot Grigio we had from the night before)
  • 3 tbs drained capers
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (6 scallions)
  • ½ cup celery (2 stalks) – diced
  • ½ cup red onion – diced
  • ¼ to 1½ pounds cooked lobster meat (depending on your budget), 1-inch-diced
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tbs coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Recipe:

Potatoes:

Wash the potatoes and put them into a large pot.  Fill the pot with water so that it covers the potatoes by 1-2 inches.  Add 1 tbs salt and bring to a boil.  Cook for 15-25 minutes, depending on size of potatoes until just tender (don’t overcook potatoes or they’ll be better for mash).  Drain the potatoes and cover with a kitchen towel to steam for 5-10 minutes.  While the potatoes are still warm, cut them into quarters or halves, and add to a large serving bowl.

Vinaigrette:

While the potatoes are cooking, make the vinaigrette.  Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, yolk, salt and pepper.  Slowly pour the olive oil in while whisking, making an emulsion.  Stir in the wine and capers.

Assemble the salad:

While the potatoes are still warm, pour half of the vinaigrette over the potatoes and toss.  Stir in the scallions, celery, red onion and lobster and add more vinaigrette to moisten.  Add the zest and juice of one lemon, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Serves best at room temperature.

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