• 1 lobster, about 700g
  • 1 medium/large salsify root
  • sunflower oil
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 125ml vermouth
  • 1 heaped tsp tomato purée
  • 2 thin slices root ginger
  • ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • olive oil
  • a squeeze of juice lemon


  • STEP 1

    To kill the lobster humanely, first put it in the freezer for 1 hour – this will put it to sleep. Take it out and, using a sharp knife, push the point of the knife into the centre of the lobster’s head and slice downwards through the eyes.
    Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil, drop in the lobster, put on a lid and boil it for 8 minutes. Remove the lobster and allow to cool. Save 300ml of strained lobster water in a measuring jug.

  • STEP 2

    Peel the salsify and cut in 1 cm slices on a steep diagonal. Put into a pan, cover with 500ml cold salted water immediately, and bring to the boil. Cook for about 7 minutes or until tender (but still retaining a little bite).
    Drain, but keep 300ml of the cooking water, then rinse until cold.

  • STEP 3

    Peel away the lobster shell, cracking the claws and removing the meat inside. Remove the green deposit from the tail and discard. Cover the tail and claw meat and set aside. Split the head lengthways and put all the pieces of shell in a large pan with 1 tbsp sunflower oil, the chopped shallot, star anise and cloves.
    Cook over a high heat for 4-5 minutes, bashing the contents with a wooden spoon while stirring vigorously.

  • STEP 4

    Pour over the vermouth and stir for a further 2 minutes before adding the reserved lobster and salsify stock. Add the tomato purée and slices of ginger. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.

  • STEP 5

    Strain through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod into the lobster sauce and stir well. Return to the hob and simmer until the liquid is reduced to around 5-6 tbsp. Season and cool.

  • STEP 6

    Cut the skin and pith away from the oranges and cut the segments from between the membrane.

  • STEP 7

    Halve the lobster tail lengthways and slice thickly. Put the lobster in a bowl with the salsify and orange segments. Dress with 1 tbsp good olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and mix well.

  • STEP 8

    Arrange the lobster, orange segments and salsify on two plates in dainty piles. Spoon over the sauce and serve.


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