colorful farmers market salad with whole lobster tails on a wooden deck above the rocky coast



John Derian shared his recipe for Summer House Lobster Salad with Bon Appetit magazine back in 2012. It was one of those recipes that I immediately knew would be a keeper. Many of my very favorite ‘things’ are treasures I’ve found at one of John’s NYC shops. I figured if it was good enough for him, it was probably pretty great. I was right.

The more I’ve made this, the more I’ve discovered it’s one of those salads where pretty much anything goes. You want as much fresh, colorful produce as possible. From blue potatoes to hot pink radishes, to curly purple lettuces. The more vibrant the better. The idea is to let the ingredients shine by simply steaming them. Make a quick vinaigrette, then serve everything with delicious lobster. Who says lobster has to be slathered in butter to taste good!

Everything gets steamed, all using the same big pot fitted with a steamer basket. You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time – just store them separately in the fridge. Or gather everyone in the kitchen and make the washing, chopping and steaming a group activity.

You could just as easily serve this with grilled shrimp or chicken, but I usually stick to lobster – especially if I’m cooking for guests. I plan for at least 2 full lobsters per person so that no one feels bad about really piling their plate full.  Preparing the SIMPLE STEAMED LOBSTER ahead of time makes this impressive spread super easy to throw together.



You could arrange everything on a serving platter, but I usually set up a “salad bar” in the kitchen – with everything served separately so people can build their salad exactly how they like it.

If I have houseguests, I’ll double all of the amounts below. Because everything is cooked and stored on its own – the leftover potential is endless. Make this salad once and it can keep people happy for days.

Serve this with a couple bottles of chilled Rosé and you’ve got a guaranteed crowd pleaser.


simply steamed lobster tails




Colorful farmers market produce with whole lobster tails and a glass of rose
  • Author: Carter Smith
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: SALAD
  • Method: STEAMING
  • Cuisine: HEALTHY



1/2 cup minced shallots

1/2 cup white wine or champagne vinegar

1/2 cup roughly chopped herbs (dill, parsley, tarragon, basil)

2 Tbs Dijon mustard

flaky sea salt

freshly ground pepper

1 cup olive oil


1 bag of small red-skinned or blue potatoes

2 cups haricots vert, trimmed

1 cup fresh shelled (or frozen) peas

10 cups mixed greens

2 cups cherry or heirloom tomatoes

6 radishes

roughly chopped black olives

3 cups cleaned lobster meat (or more) with tails and claws left intact

1 lemon

YOU COULD ALSO ADD: hard-boiled eggs, pine nuts, pickled fiddleheads, capers, microgreens, carrots, sunflower seeds, avocados, almonds, gherkins, feta ….  you get the idea.



In a jar with a lid combine the shallots, vinegar, herbs, mustard, salt and pepper. Let it sit for a bit before adding the oil. Shake well then store in the fridge.


If you’ve already got cleaned lobster meat from SIMPLY STEAMED LOBSTER, great. If not, start with the lobsters. Steam and cool them, removing the meat. Leave the claws and tails mostly intact, chopping the rest into bite-sized pieces.

Add about 2 inches of salted water to a large pot fitted with a steamer basket and bring to a boil.

Add the potatoes and cover the pot. Cook until potatoes are tender – 15 minutes or so. Transfer potatoes to a plate and let them cool.

Bring the water back to a boil and add haricots vert. Steam for about 5 minutes until they turn bright green. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking then drain and pat dry.

Return the water to a boil and add the peas – cooking just a minute before adding to the ice water bath. Drain and pat dry.

Slice the larger potatoes in half and serve each ingredient in its own bowl with sea salt, pepper, dressing and lemon wedges.

This is the kind of clean summer salad that goes perfectly with Rosé – so make sure you have lots on hand.

Keywords: Lobster Summer Salad





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