Lobster? Yes, please! The sweet, succulent flesh of lobster is a treat. It's also one of the best matches with full-bodied white wine, and while chardonnay is the classic match (especially if that chardonnay comes from a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy - and someone else is paying), the other ingredients in this dish call for a wine made from a more aromatic, more exotically scented grape. The roast chilli butter gives the dish heat; the grilled corn brings sweetness; the tomato and lime add a sour edge; and the herbs and garlic pack a big flavour punch. A perfect match is found in the grapes of the Rhône Valley: the heady richness of viognier would be good; the fresh acidity and chalky characters of marsanne would also be delicious; but for me the roussanne grape is best of all, as it combines the intense perfume of the former with the textural qualities of the latter.
- 8 lobster tails, halved lengthways
- 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
- To serve: lemon wedges
Roast chilli butter
- 12 long red chillies
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 200 gm softened butter
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½
Roast tomato and grilled corn salad
- 6 corn cobs, husks on, silk removed
- 600 gm cherry tomatoes on the truss, trimmed into small bunches
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
- 2 cups (loosely packed) lamb's lettuce
- ½ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp Sherry vinegar
- 1For roast chilli butter, preheat oven to 200C. Spread out chillies on an oven tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with oil, season to taste and roast until skins are split and almost blackened (20-25 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to steam (30 minutes). Peel, remove half the seeds (discard), transfer to a small food processor and process until smooth. Add butter, lemon rind and juice, season to taste and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until required. Makes about 1 cup. Roast chilli butter will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks; bring to room temperature before using.
- 2For roast tomato and grilled corn salad, soak corn in a large bowl of cold water so husks won't burn when grilled (30 minutes). Spread tomatoes on an oven tray lined with baking paper, scatter with thyme, drizzle with half the oil, season to taste and roast at 200C until tender (25-35 minutes), then set aside to cool. Heat a barbecue (or large char-grill pan) to medium heat and grill corn, turning occasionally, until just tender (15-20 minutes), peel back husks and grill, turning occasionally, until charred (8-10 minutes), then set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs and transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes and pan juices, lamb's lettuce, parsley, vinegar and remaining oil, season to taste, toss to combine and set aside.
- 3Heat a barbecue (or large char-grill pan) to medium-high heat. Drizzle lobster tails with oil and grill, in batches, cut-side down until golden (1-2 minutes). Reduce oven to 180C. Transfer lobster to an oven tray, spread with roast chilli butter and cook in oven until butter has melted and lobster tails are cooked through (10-12 minutes). Serve warm with lemon wedges and roast tomato and grilled corn salad.