Lobsters are my September indulgence. After a long season of growing, preserving, and processing the summer harvest for the colder months, I’m exhausted and need a little break. Instead of crawling up into a ball and retreating to the back of the barn, I flash a weary smile at my special someone. With that single look, my husband knows it’s time for our end-of-season lobster dinner.
My favorite part of this meal is that I do absolutely nothing to bring it to life. The husband orders the lobsters, boils them, and picks them clean of all their luscious meat. He places a gigantic bowl of just-shelled goodness on the table between us, and we dip bits of it into bowls full of melted butter (or coconut butter) until the lobster is right where it should be: in our bellies.
Since I don’t need to fully own yet another preserving project (not on this night, anyway), the husband piles the shells into a big stock pot while I add in all the other ingredients, chopped and diced from my perch at the kitchen table, and not standing over a stove. The heat goes on high and we take another sip of something strong. About four hours later, a rich and luxurious Lobster Stock materializes as if out of thin air (or ocean).
You’re probably entranced by the romantic vision of your partner shelling lobsters for you. It’s a beautiful picture, right? It is, indeed. I enjoy that moment immensely. The next day I move on to turning my leftover stock into an equally romantic food gift.
Lobster Stock makes a nice gift all on its own but some folks just don’t know what to do with the stuff. Instead, I make an effortless Tomato Lobster Sauce that has only a touch of spice and a small pile of summer basil. Add more chili flakes, if you like, but be sure to add the basil off the heat, to preserve some of its green color. I also add just enough lobster stock to hint at lobster season but not punch you in the face with all-lobsters-all-the-time. If you want to add more stock, that’s fine – just cook it a little bit longer.
In case your partner isn’t picking shells for you this end of season, ask your local fishmonger for spent shells – they’re often glad to share! A homemade or even store-bought seafood stock will also do the trick.
Tomato Lobster Sauce
Makes: 4 cups
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce tin, diced tomatoes
- 1 cup (up to 1-1/2 cups) Lobster Stock (or seafood stock)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
- 10 basil leaves, slivered
- In a large stock pot over medium heat, sauté the olive oil with the onion and garlic until translucent and melty. Keep the heat on medium and lower it as needed to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of broth, red pepper flakes, sea salt and black pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors co-mingle and combine, and to let the sauce get a little thicker. Add up to another 1/2 cup of broth if it’s too thick. Remove from the heat once your preferred consistency is reached.
- Taste for seasoning, and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. Gently stir in the basil leaves. Serve immediately or pour into a tall jar, wipe the rim, and seal. Store in the fridge until ready to gift but eat within 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Glass jar with airtight lid
- Basket, optional
- 1 bag dried pasta, optional
- 1 bunch fresh basil, optional
- Pour your cooled sauce into a glass jar. Wipe the rim and seal.
- Write your label on a tag. Thread the tag onto a piece of twine. Tie twine and tag around the jar. Store in the fridge until ready to gift.
- Place jar in a basket (if using) with the pasta (if using) and basil (if using). Gift immediately.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.