Fresh peas love shellfish. And we love lobster rolls. Everyone has their favorite version, this one is elegant and very fresh, with a bit of lemon and crème frâiche to lighten the dressing, plus chives, mint, thinly sliced radishes, and spring's fabulous fresh peas. Lobster meat isn’t cheap, but it’s a yummy splurge every once in a while.
Make the salad
Put the lobster meat in a large mixing bowl. Put the peas in a small dish with a tablespoon of water, cover with a paper towel, and microwave on high for 10 to 20 seconds, or just until tender. Drain the water and let cool for a few minutes, then add to the lobster meat. Add the sliced radishes and most of the chives and mint (if using). Set aside the remaining herbs for garnish. Sprinkle a scant 1/4 tsp. salt over the lobster mixture and season with several grinds of black pepper.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, crème frâiche, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Using a silicone spatula, pour and scrape the dressing over the lobster mixture and stir gently but thoroughly. (If you have less than a pound of lobster meat, start by adding just three-quarters of the dressing—you don’t want to overdress.) Taste and season with more fresh pepper or lemon juice if you like. Refrigerate if not using right away (for up to 6 hours).
Prepare the rolls
When ready to serve, heat half of the butter in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, unfold two of the frankfurter rolls and press them, cut side down, into the pan and fry them in the butter until golden brown on the cut side, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining rolls and butter.
Arrange a few leaves of arugula or lettuce along the length of each warm roll. Divide the lobster salad equally among the rolls, spooning the salad down the middle. Sprinkle the salad with the remaining herbs and serve the lobster rolls right away, with lots of napkins!
Photo: Alexandra Grablewski