Lobster can carry a dinner all by itself — it’s really all you need to mention when you invite friends over for dinner or a cook out — but once they’ve crossed the threshold, you’ll want to prepare one or more of these 10 side dishes and appetizers that will not only complement the main course, they’ll cement your reputation as a host non-pareil.
Side dishes and appetizers can be employed to make mouths water, or to carry the meal for your friends who don’t like seafood, or who don’t eat it, due to vegetarian or vegan concerns. Either way, there’s good news: Bibs work on all sorts of food. Here are our humble, top 10 suggestions:
#1 Grains (With Boiled Lobster)
It’s the fancy way of referring to all those high-starch foods like rice, pasta, or quinoa — foodstuffs that will soak up gravy and sauce. Dress up your grains, however you prefer them, with this recipe for Seafood Sherry Cream Sauce, and be prepared to shrug your shoulders when they ask where you learned the recipe. We won’t tell.
Try pairing this combination with, believe it or not, Chardonnay, according to the good folks at intowine.com.
#2 Lobster Tots (With Grilled Lobster)
This delicious grilled lobster side dish is a sure crowd-pleaser for the folks who show up expecting to dine on lobster but don’t want to wait for the main course. Deliver on your promise and immediate gratification with lobster tots.
“It’s a pile of perfect tater tots with a ton of succulent lobster chunks,” raved lobster aficionado and west coast denizen Laura, ”YUM YUM YUM – but I can only eat it once a year!”
Caloric restrictions aside, there are two approaches to the recipe: Watch this quick and easy video on making lobster tots, or take the more involved route with this in-depth lobster tots recipe from InStyle.com.
Chardonnay is the suggested wine for this dish as well. For real.
#3 Corn On The Cob With Garlic Butter (With Grilled Or Steamed Lobster)
Corn on the cob is a classic side for steamed lobster, and cookouts in general. Go the extra mile with this recipe from Bobby Flay on Foodnetwork.com – Grilled Corn on the Cob with Garlic Butter, Fresh Lime and Cotija Cheese. Vegan or vegetarian friends coming over? Skip the cheese and substitute Earth Balance vegan margarine.
Pair this combo with Chardonnay again, but don’t take our word for it. Splendid table has our back on this one, too.
#4 Steamers (Grilled Lobster, Or Steamed)
They’re the traditional primer for lobster dinners throughout New England. Check out this steamer recipe from NewEngland.com, where a few commenters recommend using Sam Adams lager to steam the clams instead of water, or, some say, better yet – the stout of your choice for added flavor.
#5 Grilled Asparagus (With Grilled Lobster, Naturally)
This is a minimalist choice, for those who fill up easy on lobster, or maybe for the vegetarians and vegans among us. Or, perhaps the lobsters are so large a more ambitious appetizer isn’t warranted.
The Recipe A Day blog has a tasty grilled lobster tail and asparagus recipe with a garlic lemon juice marinade for both, or try out Grilled Parmesan Asparagus paired with your grilled lobster.
James Romanow, wine and spirits journalist, suggests a stronger medium weight white, like an aged chardonnay, to pair with the combination.
#6 Strawberry-Spinach Salad (Try With Broiled Lobster Tails)
Follow this quick and simple recipe from Tasteofhome.com for Strawberry-spinach salad with candied walnuts for a light but elegant side to your broiled lobster tail fare. Pair with an oaky, buttery Chardonnay, or a white Zinfandel, suggested for both lobster and strawberry-spinach salad by matchingfoodandwine.com and intowine.com, respectively.
#7 Pomegranate-Brussel Sprout Salad
(Try with poached lobster) This 15-minute pomegranate-Brussels sprout recipe from Williams Sonoma Home is another interesting, elegant and delicious way to complement your lobster dinner. Pair your lobster main course and this salad with Chardonnay or white Zinfandel.
#8 Lobster Mac And Cheese (With Stuffed Lobster)
Make a full commitment to lobster with this delicious and decadent side dish with stuffed lobster tails, using the claws, for instance, if you’re serving grilled lobster tails as well, or use a few lobsters for the side. Since the recipe requires 1 and ½ pounds of lobster meat, you may need to purchase your lobsters wisely.
Matchingfoodandwine.com suggests the versatile Chardonnay, as well as a dry Riesling or, if beer is more in line with the mood of your meal, an American-style brown ale.
#9 Lemon Garlic Scallops (With Sous-Vide Lobster)
Combine butter, lemon and garlic in this 20-min scallop recipe for a nice kick to the palate alongside your sous-vide lobster dinner.
Pair with a Chardonnay, or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
#10 Shrimp Scampi And Linguine (Try With Roast Lobster)
Go for a more substantial meal with this pasta and seafood side. While it’ll be more filling than our other suggestions, it’ll also be a little more time consuming, but still quick at about 25 minutes.
Fionna Beckett at matchingfoodandwine.com suggests French seaside white wines, such as Muscadet, or Italian whites, like Pinot Grigio to pair with the dish. The vintages also go well with lobster.