enjoying the (sea)fruits of my dad’s labor

(A note from Kate): Joanna is still off on her South American adventures, but here’s a post from her archives in the mean time. Bon appetit!

The other night my dad revealed a prized possession that had been hiding in our freezer: a bag containing two Florida lobster tails. He caught these himself about a month ago during “mini lobster season,” a coveted two-day period in July where lobster-loving Floridians are permitted to catch and keep up to six lobsters a piece (official lobster season is from August to March; at other times of the year it is illegal to catch any Florida lobster). Although most of my dad’s bounty had been consumed immediately, these two tails remained, poised to be the start of a gourmet dish.

We consulted a Miami-inspired cookbook and a recipe for lobster gazpacho jumped out at us. The recipe was beautifully simple: lobster tails cooked unadorned and a soup that blended together a few basic ingredients. This no-frills preparation exquisitely showcased the natural sweetness of the lobster meat and the vibrant freshness of the vegetables. To add a special touch, my dad went all out with toppings of golden tomatoes, red onions, scallions, and baby lettuce, the latter two which grew himself in box gardens in our backyard. From catching the lobster to growing the garnishes, this gazpacho was a true labor of love from my dad, and one that I savored with the utmost appreciation.
Gazpacho with Grilled Lobster Tails (adapted from The Food of Miami)
Serves 6

2 large tomatoes, chopped with core and seeds removed

2 cucumbers, chopped with seeds removed
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
2 tbsp sherry wine vinegar (or combo of sherry wine and red or white vinegar)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lobster tails
Combine first seven ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. To cook lobster tails, heat grill to medium-high and grill in shell for about 7 minutes, turning once. Remove from shell and cut into chunks. Divide soup and lobster meat evenly among 6 bowls. Garnish with tomatoes, red onion, and any other preferred accompaniments.

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