I do miss lobster. Lobster and sushi. So far not enough to go out and eat it though. If I think about it too much, I just feel too darned bad for the lobster. And shellfish in general.
One time my friend threw a big summer party and ordered a whole bunch of crabs for a crab boil. Then one of the barrels of crabs tipped over. They scampered away, waving their claws menacingly, desperately trying to stay alive and not get boiled to death. It was quite a pathetic sight. I felt pretty bad for them. To make it worse, at the last minute several people couldn’t make it and there were just too many cooked crabs for everyone to eat. My friend tried over the next few days to get through them–crab salad, soup, etc., but a good few of them were just wasted.
So as much as I would like to be by the beach with a lobster roll and a cold beer, I’d rather eat the veggie roll made with artichoke and palm hearts (and a cold beer on my deck). A most light and simple sandwich. Still summery. Still nice. NOTHING like lobster of course.
For those who haven’t had lobster rolls, there are various strong opinions about how to prepare them–what kind of roll to use, what kind of lobster meat, etc. To my mind, the traditional buttered and toasted roll is best, and the dressing on the lobster should be fairly simple–mayo, lemon, paprika… So when making a veggie version, I stuck with that principle and used a mixture of artichoke and palm hearts to mimic the softness of lobster meat and hopefully, the subtle flavor.
Ingredients for no lobster rolls
makes 4 rolls
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 can hearts of palm, drained
1 celery stalk, chopped finely
4-5 tbs mayo (more or less, up to you)
1-2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
fresh ground sea salt and black pepper
traditional rolls or hot dog buns with the ends sliced off
Serve plain or with lettuce and tomato
1) Chop half the hearts of palm and half the artichokes into larger pieces and the other half, chop smaller. You want different texture in the roll.
2) Mix the mayo, lemon juice, sugar, paprika and salt and pepper together and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. Add more or less mayo as you like.
3) Add in the hearts of palm, artichoke and celery and mix. Let sit for 30 min to an hour to marinate.
4) Spread the inside of the rolls with butter and toast them on a frying pan or grill.
5) Add the filling, sprinkle a bit more paprika and serve.