Our holidays have been all about “low key”. We wanted it that way and it was a relief to pass on some of the usual insanity surrounding the season. Our Christmas Eve tradition is to have pasta with seafood in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s the one constant every year. Christmas Day is usually some sort of beef roast and New Year’s Eve is whatever strikes my fancy. I saw that lobsters were on sale and in contrast with the sensible restraint of the rest of holiday, I decided to go all out and buy a few!
Armed with my new favorite Italian cookbook-Lidia Cooks From The Heart Of Italy– by Lidia Bastianich, I decided to forego the usual steamed lobsters with lots of melted butter and go for a more Italian preparation. The book is divided into twelve of Italy’s twenty regions and the recipes focuses on specialties of of the area while concentrating on good family cooking. The recipe for Roast Lobster with Bread Crumb Topping hails from the island of Sardinia and is reminiscent of baked seafood dishes served in the classic Italian American restaurants. The recipe is fairly easy, however you have to split the live lobsters in half so if you’re squeamish about this sort of thing, this recipe may not be for you!
Roast Lobsters With Bread Crumb Topping
3 live lobsters about 1-1/2 pounds each
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
Lemon wedges for garnish
About 1/2 hour before you plan to cut up the lobsters, put them in the freezer-they will become inactive. I didn’t feel the need to do this step-mine had been in the fridge all day and were not really feisty.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and arrange a rack in the center of the oven.
Split the lobsters in half one at a time. Hold each lobster flat on a cutting board and place the tip of a chef’s knife through the shell just behind the head with the blade lined up between the eyes. Bring the blade down firmly and split the head in two and then cut through the entire body.
Once split, remove and discard the nerve tissue in the head cavity and the intestinal tract which runs along the back. It will be obvious to you what you need to toss! Arrange the lobster halves on a baking sheet (12″ x 18″), cut sides up.
Toss together the bread crumbs, chopped parsley and 1/4 teaspoon parsley in a bowl. Drizzle in 1’4 cup olive oil and toss well. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cut surfaces of the lobsters and press into the cavities too. Pour the wine and the remaining olive oil in the pan around the lobsters and sprinkle in the rest of the salt.
Tent the lobsters with foil (don’t let it touch the topping) and carefully put the pan in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, remove the foil and roast for another 20-25 minutes, until the lobsters are cooked through and the crumbs are crisp and golden.
Serve the lobsters immediately. Spoon any juices in the pan over the lobsters and serve with lemon. Serves: 6
We splurged and each ate a whole lobster!
Photo was taken before the lobsters went in the oven.