Summer’s Swan Song

Sept21 Localflavor Alanaharris 20210629 1591
Lobster Cobb Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette


We hope this issue finds you savoring every last drop of sweet summertime, squeezing in as many long days at the beach, on the boat, or by the pool as you can. Summer is all about slowing down and taking it easy, so when it comes to our time spent in the kitchen this time of year, we like to keep things simple and fuss-free. 

The late-summer produce harvest is often the most bountiful; think corn, tomatoes, zucchini, peaches — all things fresh and vibrant. With quality ingredients, you don’t have to fuss too much to make them taste great. It’s all about creating winning combinations by layering flavors and textures into your dish or drink, and that’s exactly what we’re offering you this month.  

First we’re serving up a Pimm’s Cup, a traditional British cocktail that has gained a reputation as the perfect drink to enjoy in the daytime (it’s a favorite at Wimbledon to this day). The slow-sipping summer cocktail is the preferred vehicle for its eponymous liqueur, Pimm’s No. 1, a gin-based digestif with spice and fruit flavors, created in the 1800s by a London bar owner named James Pimm. It’s a low-proof cocktail, which makes it perfect for enjoying on a hot summer afternoon, and the drink is “built” right in the glass, so it’s very simple to make at home. The ginger, lemon, cucumber, mint and strawberry combination is especially revitalizing — you may just want to enjoy more than one. 

Next up we have a Lobster Cobb Salad With Champagne Vinaigrette, which is especially pretty and colorful when served on a big platter as we’ve done here. When it comes to building a far-from-boring salad, there’s no such thing as too many toppings. Classic Cobb salad gets a fresh twist by swapping out the traditional chicken (boring) in favor of lobster (fancy). All the best parts of a Cobb salad are still there: juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, crispy bacon — plus we’ve added sweet, crunchy corn to keep the summer vibes going strong. 

It’s the perfect dish for having a couple of friends over, and it works well for lunch or dinner. You can prepare it ahead of time and store the platter covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat, which makes for truly effortless entertaining. Pour a couple of Pimm’s Cups, pick up a key lime pie at the store, and you’ve got yourself an easy end-of-summer soiree. Cheers!

Lobster Cobb Salad With Champagne Vinaigrette 

Servings: 4–6

Pro tip: Save yourself the hassle of cooking a whole lobster by buying the lobster meat already cooked from your local fish market. 

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and honey in a small bowl until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.  

Assemble the salad. Remove the leaves from the head of lettuce, then rinse and dry them well. On a large serving platter, create a base layer of lettuce by spreading the leaves out evenly to cover the entire surface of the platter. 

Top with corn, lobster, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and bacon, with each ingredient layered on top of the lettuce in neat little rows. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Just before serving, give the jar of vinaigrette a good shake, then spoon the dressing evenly over the salad. `

For the salad:

  • 1 head bibb lettuce (also called Boston or butter lettuce) 
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels, cut from the cob 
  • 10 ounces cooked lobster meat, roughly chopped 
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese 
  • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced 
  • 6 strips cooked bacon, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Pimm’s Cup

Servings: 1

This cocktail is all about the garnishes, which serve a twofold purpose: They infuse the drink with flavor and make for an eye-pleasing presentation. The recipe is for one serving because this drink works best when prepared one at a time, but you could easily multiply it and make a whole pitcher if you’re serving a big crowd. 

Add Pimm’s No. 1 and lemon juice into a highball glass over ice, then top with ginger ale to fill the glass almost to the top (you want to leave some room for the garnishes). Stir briefly to combine.

Garnish with cucumber, strawberries, lemon and mint, filling in the glass to your liking. Don’t be shy — the more garnishes you can squeeze in, the more flavorful the drink will be.

  • 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup liqueur 
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • Ginger ale, to top

For the garnish: 

  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced strawberries 
  • Sliced lemon wheels 
  • Fresh mint sprigs  

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