PUGLIA LOBSTER - step by step instructions

Apulia is a long region, spanning the length and breadth of Italy’s heel, and reaching on up the calf; from Foggia in the north to Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca at the country’s southern tip. The food also bridges between fertile inland soils and the rich waters of this part of the Adriatic. Here, we sample from the whole of the region; dried broad bean purée, cicoria and burrata from the earth, rich & sweet lobster from the rocky coastline and ricotta cake with baked apricots from the trees that speckle the landscape.

For your meal you will need:

  • An oven tray for the peppers
  • A second one for the focaccia

The detailed recipes for the dishes are here, but in essence:

 

  • Preheat your oven to 210C (fan), or 220C (static)
  • Allow all ingredients to come to room temperature
  • Plate and scoff the burrata
  • Bake the focaccia – this will both take 4-5 minutes
  • Remove the focaccia and crank up the heat to 230C (fan) or 240C (static)
  • Top the lobster with the tomatoes & oil, and bake for a few minutes, until just cooked
  • Eat, using the focaccia to mop any oily juices
  • Pop the cake onto plates, nestle the apricots alongside, and enjoy

 

Puglia - Lobster

 

Apulia is a long region, spanning the length and breadth of Italy’s heel, and reaching on up the calf; from Foggia in the north to Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca at the country’s southern tip. The food also bridges between fertile inland soils and the rich waters of this part of the Adriatic. Here, we sample from the whole of the region; dried broad bean purée, cicoria and burrata from the earth, rich & sweet lobster from the rocky coastline and ricotta cake with baked apricots from the trees that speckle the landscape.

 

Burrata, cicoria, dried broad bean puree & chilli

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Baked lobster with datterini tomatoes & basil

 

Focaccia barese

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Ricotta, orange & honey cake with baked apricots

 

For your meal you will need:

 

An oven tray for the peppers

A second one for the focaccia

 

The detailed recipes for the dishes are here, but in essence:

 

  • Preheat your oven to 210C (fan), or 220C (static)
  • Allow all ingredients to come to room temperature
  • Plate and scoff the burrata
  • Bake the focaccia – this will both take 4-5 minutes
  • Remove the focaccia and crank up the heat to 230C (fan) or 240C (static)
  • Top the lobster with the tomatoes & oil, and bake for a few minutes, until just cooked
  • Eat, using the focaccia to mop any oily juices
  • Pop the cake onto plates, nestle the apricots alongside, and enjoy

 

ENJOY

 

ALLERGENS: all packs are prepared in a mixed kitchen, we cannot guarantee the absence of ANY allergen. All packs of this dish contain dairy, gluten, alliums, eggs, celery, and nuts.

 

 

starter

 

Fave e cicoria is a dish of dried broad beans cooked to a pulp, and blended with copious fine olive oil to form a sort of earthy yet ethereal hummus, served with boiled cicoria (wild & bitter green leaves) and dressed with garlic & chilli. It is emblematic of Puglia and found on all tables across the region - as is burrata, mozzarella’s rather less virtuous cousin. One day, I decided to put the two together, and found a whole even greater than the sum of its parts.

 

Your pack serves two and contains:

 

  • 2 burrata
  • A bag of dried broad bean puree
  • Some boiled cicoria, chopped
  • A small bottle of chilli oil (caution – the chilli oil is rather hot; use it judiciously)

 

  • Let all ingredients come to room temperature (a half hour or so before you wish to eat)
  • Snip the corner from the bag of puree, and squeeze it out onto two plates (like toothpaste)
  • Spread the broad bean puree out– in a nice disk, or a messy splodge
  • Season the cicoria with salt, and dress with some of the chilli oil (watch out – it’s spicy)
  • Heap this on top of the broad bean puree, and tuck the burrata in next to it

 

 

 

 

Baked lobster with datterini tomatoes & basil

 

Fishmongers in Puglia are funny places. Packed full of Neptune’s bounty one day, the next they will be largely empty and barren. ‘The weather’ they will grumble when queried, as the hot sun continues to shine down through clear skies, ‘not good for fishing.’ I’ve never worked it out. Regardless, on even the emptiest days, there are always at least a few delights; cozze pelosi, perhaps – hairy mussels - sitting in their tank as they are slowly invaded by sluggish crabs from next door; and if you’re lucky, lobsters. Arragosta are the Mediterranean spiny lobsters, with fat tails and no claws, while astice are the same as our UK natives. Both are superb, particularly so when baked with sweet tomatoes, fine oil & basil

 

Your pack serves 2 and contains:

 

  • 2 native lobsters, humanely dispatched and lightly blanched, claws cracked
  • Datterini tomatoes
  • Chilli flakes, garlic & fine olive oil
  • A few leaves of fresh basil

Directions

 

  • Preheat your oven to 230C (fan) or 240C (static)
  • Sit the lobster on a chopping board, head facing you
  • Take a large, heavy bladed knife, and insert it point down in the indent (marked by a pale natural cross) at the back of the lobsters head
  • Push down until you have cut to the base of the lobsters head, and bring the base of the blade down to cut right through
  • Turn the lobster around so the tail faces you, and repeat with the back end
  • Place the lobsters in an oven tray, cut side up
  • Spoon over the datterini, then drizzle with the chilli, garlic & olive oil
  • Bake for 8 minutes, until just cooked (the flesh should feel firm to the touch, and come away easily from the sides of the shell – if not ready, pop back in for a minute or two)
  • Remove from the oven and tear over the basil
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Focaccia BArese

 

Focaccia has as many versions as Italy has towns and regions. In Genova, they love it with onions – or stuffed with cheese. In Tuscany they dot it with rosemary. In Bari, capital city of Apulia, they poke sweet little tomatoes and salty black olives into the dough, and sprinkle the lot with a touch of dried oregano. It is superlative.

 

Your pack serves 2 as a side and contains:

  • A focaccia, studded with olives & datterini tomatoes, very lightly baked

Directions

 

  • Preheat your oven to 180C (fan), or 200C (static)
  • Pop the focaccia onto a tray and bake for 6-8 minutes, until crisp and golden

 

 

Ricotta, orange & honey cake with baked apricots

 

Few things are as delicious as ripe stone fruits – peaches, plums, apricots & nectarines. In Apulian orchards they grow in vast swathes alongside the olive trees, baked in the summer sun and dripping with sweet nectar. Here, we serve apricots alongside an ambrosial ricotta cake, perfumed with oranges & orange blossom honey, and they are outstanding.

 

Your pack serves 2 and contains:

  • 2 slices of ricotta, orange & honey cake
  • Some apricots, baked in their own juices, with a little honey

Directions

 

  • Allow both apricots and cake to come to room temperature
  • Sit the cake on a plate, and nestle the apricots alongside
  • Enjoy!

 

     

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