Recipe courtesy of Farmer's Table

Maine Lobster, Lemon Gnocchi, Brown Butter and a Summer Salad

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr 35 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 8 appetizer servings or 4 main dish servings
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1 pound large, white potatoes (not Yukon Gold)

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for dusting

Zest of 2 lemons


Four 1 1/4-pound Maine lobsters



3 cups assorted summer vegetables, cut into julienne or small bite-size pieces

2 cups greens, such as arugula, spinach, mesclun


8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper 

1/4 cup your favorite vinaigrette, preferably red wine vinaigrette


  1. For the gnocchi: Boil the potatoes with skins on until a knife pierces them easily. Remove from the pot and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the skins (the potatoes will still be hot). Pass the potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer into a large mixing bowl. You can also use a potato masher and mash well. Do not use an electric mixer as this will cause the potatoes to get starchy and gluey.
  2. Add the flour and zest to the bowl and begin to incorporate by hand. Combine and lightly knead, mixing as little as possible. Cut off medium pieces and roll into 1/2-inch ropes on a well-floured surface. Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces using a sharp knife or dough cutter. Place the pieces in a wax or parchment-paper-lined pan that will fit in your freezer. If the gnocchi is sticky, use a little more flour. Freeze the gnocchi thoroughly. This step can be done 3 days in advance.
  3. For the lobsters: Fill a large pot halfway with water and add salt. Bring to a boil. Add the lobsters one at a time, being careful not to splash yourself. Cook until the lobsters turn red, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on the counter, and then 15 minutes in the refrigerator. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shells and cut into bite-size pieces.
  4. For the salad: Mix together the summer vegetables and greens.
  5. For assembly: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, place a large, nonstick pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Drop the gnocchi in the boiling water and cook until they float, 1 minute. Drain and gently pour the gnocchi into the pan to brown lightly in the butter. Add the lobster to heat through and season with salt and pepper. The butter should have taken on a brown (not black or light golden) color, and smell nutty. Divide the gnocchi and lobster among plates or shallow bowls. Mix the salad thoroughly with the vinaigrette and top each dish with the salad. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

Instead of cooking lobster, pre-cooked crabmeat or shrimp may be used. If substituting uncooked shrimp for lobster, cook the shrimp in a well-seasoned boil of salted water, peppercorns, lemon and bay leaf.