Saturday, January 19, 2013
Vegetarian Lobster Rolls
*Please VOTE HERE for TCV for TheKitchn.com's Best Recipe Blog award. This is the finals, y'all! Everyone is allowed one vote by 2/13; tell all your sweet friends!
Tonight, The Chubby Vegetarian blog hit one million page views. It feels like such a milestone. You see, we've been at this since 2008 and have amassed more than 800 recipes and ideas. But what we do and say would mean nothing if it weren't for all of you out there reading along and cooking in your own home kitchens. Please take a minute and say hello to us in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you, and we're so glad you're here with us!
Today we give you our take on a very Northeastern dish called the lobster roll. At its best, a lobster roll is simply dressed chunks of lobster in a soft roll. We decided that lobster mushrooms would be a good vegetarian stand-in given their peculiar name and red appearance; their meaty texture is just perfect for the dish. We added a sheet of nori to amp up the sea flavor like we did in our Vegetarian Tuna Salad, and the avocado adds a much-needed bit of richness to the dish. We couldn't stop talking about the flavors in our this sandwich, and we sincerely hope you'll try this recipe--or a few of our other ones!--in your own home sometime this year.
Vegetarian Lobster Rolls
1 ounce dried lobster mushrooms* (soaked in hot water for 1 hour)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
1 medium avocado (diced)
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 sheet toasted nori (torn into small pieces)
1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon cane sugar (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 soft hot dog buns
2 cups butter lettuce
1/8 cup chopped chives
Drain mushrooms and tear larger pieces into bite-sized chunks; one ounce of dried mushrooms should yield about 1 1/2 cups once they are rehydrated. In a medium pan over high heat, melt the butter and sear the mushrooms for about 2 to 3 minutes or until nicely browned on one side. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Into a large bowl, place the cooled mushrooms, celery, cucumber, and avocado. Set aside while you make the dressing.
Into the work bowl of your food processor, place the nori, mayonnaise, lemon juice, tarragon, sugar, Old Bay seasoning, and salt and pepper it to taste. Blend until smooth. Pour dressing into the bowl containing the mushroom mixture and toss to coat.
To serve, place lettuce into each bun and top each with 1/4 of the mixture. Top with chives. Serve immediately. (Makes 4 lobster rolls.)
*Find dried lobster mushrooms at most specialty grocery stores. When they are in season, fresh lobster mushrooms would be so fantastic in this dish.