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Steamed Lobsters with Seared Wild Mushrooms

Mark Franz, chef and co-owner of Farallon, likes to start his lobster dinner with oysters on the half shell with lemon juice. You can ask your fishmonger to halve the lobsters for you; use them immediately. Or simply cook the whole lobsters in a pot of boiling water and split them in half before serving.

slideshow Amazing Seafood Recipes

  • Servings: 4

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  • Two 2-pound live lobsters, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 8 juniper berries, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme plus 5 thyme sprigs
  • 1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, stems trimmed and mushrooms thinly sliced
  • Large slices of sourdough bread, toasted


  1. Rub the cut sides of the lobster tails with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic. Season the lobster with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large steamer, combine 1/2 cup of the wine with the lemon juice, juniper berries, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add 2 inches of water, then the lobsters, cut side up, in a steamer basket and cover tightly. Steam the lobsters over high heat about 8 minutes, or until the tails are cooked through and the claws are red.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat until tender and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic and the chopped thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of white wine and cook until almost evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the lobster to 4 large plates. Spoon the mushrooms onto the sourdough toasts and serve alongside.

Suggested Pairing

A dry, fruity white is the perfect complement to the garlicky mushrooms and sweet lobster meat. Consider an elegant, crisp Riesling, from California or Alsace.

Contributed By Published December 1998

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