Fresh peas love shellfish. And we love lobster rolls. Everyone has their favorite version, but mine is elegant and very fresh since I use a bit of lemon and crème frâiche to lighten the dressing, and I add chives, mint, thinly sliced radishes, and those fabulous fresh peas. One tradition I stick with – the toasted frankfurter bun. Lobster meat isn’t cheap, but it’s a yummy splurge every once in a while.

Makes 4 bodacious rolls or 6 respectable rolls

For the salad

  • 1 pound (or a generous 1/2 pound) cooked lobster meat (tail and claws), cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice or pieces
  • 1/3 cup fresh peas (from 6 to 7 ounces fresh English pea pods)
  • 1 large or 2 medium Cherry Belle or other red or pink radishes, cut lengthwise into wedge and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh chives
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced fresh mint (optional; choose spearmint over peppermint)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup crème frâiche
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste for the rolls
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 to 6 top-split frankfurter rolls (preferably) or regular hot dog buns
  • 8 to 12 small arugula leaves or baby Bibb lettuce leaves, washed and dried make the salad

1. Put the lobster meat in a large mixing bowl. Put the peas in a small dish with a tablespoon of water, cover with a paper towel, and microwave on high for 10 to 20 seconds, or just until tender. Drain the water and let cool for a few minutes, then add to the lobster meat. Add the sliced radishes and most of the chives and mint (if using). Set aside the remaining herbs for garnish. Sprinkle a scant 14 teaspoon salt over the lobster mixture and season with several grinds of black pepper.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, crème frâiche, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Using a silicone spatula, pour and scrape the dressing over the lobster mixture and stir gently but thoroughly. (If you have less than a pound of lobster meat, start by adding just three-quarters of the dressing – you don’t want to overdress.) Taste and season with more fresh pepper or lemon juice if you like. Refrigerate if not using right away (for up to 6 hours).

Prepare the rolls

When ready to serve, heat half of the butter in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, unfold two of the frankfurter rolls and press them, cut side down, into the pan and fry them in the butter until golden brown on the cut side, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining rolls and butter.

To serve

Arrange a few leaves of arugula or lettuce along the length of each warm roll. Divide the lobster salad equally among the rolls, spooning the salad down the middle. Sprinkle the salad with the remaining herbs and serve the lobster rolls right away, with lots of napkins!

This recipe was originally published with the article, The Pursuit of Happiness.