Lobster Rolls with Pickled Asian Pears
- 2 Asian pears
- 1 cup Swedish 1-2-3- Vinegar (see recipe below)
- 2 teaspoons white miso
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek, or about 6 drops Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups bite-sized chunks cooked lobster (from two 1 1/2- to 2-pound lobsters)
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 5 white peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only
- 2 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves only
- 2 sprigs fresh basil, leaves only
- 1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons caviar, preferably from California farmed sturgeon (optional)
For the Swedish 1-2-3 Vinegar
1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool.
2. Pour the vinegar into a jar, seal the jar, and store in the refrigerator.
For the Lobster Rolls
1. Using a mandoline or other vegetable slicer, cut the (unpeeled) pears into paper-thin slices: starting on one side, slice each pear lengthwise down to the core, then turn it around and slice the other half. Put the slices in a small bowl, pour the vinegar over them, and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
2. Combine the miso, mayonnaise, lime juice, sambal oelek, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add the lobster and tomatoes and toss to mix.
3. Lay a piece of plastic wrap about 1-inch long on a work surface. Arrange 8 pear slices in two rows down the center of the plastic wrap, overlapping them as necessary, to make a 4x6-inch rectangle. Place a line of the lobster mixture—about 2 tablespoons—across the lower third of the rectangle. Using the plastic wrap to help you, roll up the pear slices around the filling as tightly as possible into a compact roll. Place on a plate, and repeat with the remaining pear slices and filling, to make a total of 4 rolls. Cover and refrigerate. (The rolls can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead. Serve chilled, or bring to cool room temperature before serving.)
For the Herb Salad
1. Just before serving, whisk the olive oil and lime juice together in a small bowl. Stir in the herbs and garlic.
2. Using a very sharp knife, cut each roll into 2 or 3 pieces. Place on plates. Arrange the salad next to the rolls, garnish with the optional caviar, and serve.