Grilled lobster with basil oil and aïoli

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Lobster 8990



  • 2 x approx. 500g lobsters
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 small lemons, halved
  • Greek basil leaves, to serve

For the basil oil

  • 50g Greek basil leaves
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed

For the basil aïoli

  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 200ml basil oil (see above)


First make the basil oil. Put the basil leaves in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leavefor 40 seconds until the green of the leaves intensifies. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper. Chop finely, put in a blender with both the oils and whizz to a purée. Scrape into a bowl, cover and chill overnight. Line a sieve with a layer of muslin and set it over a bowl. Pour in the basil oil and let it gradually drain through without disturbing it. Discard the solids in the sieve, pour the oil into a jar and store in the fridge until ready to use. Spoon 3tbsp basil oil into a bowl for serving. To make the basil aïoli you need 200ml basil oil – if you don’t have enough, add a little more extra virgin olive oil to the mixture you have made. Put the garlic, mustard and 1tsp lemon juice in a bowl placed on a cloth so it doesn’t slip. Season with sea salt flakes and white pepper.

Whisk in the egg yolks and add the basil oil a drop at a time, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. At this point, start adding the oil a little faster. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt if needed. Put in a bowl and store in the fridge.

To kill the lobsters, put them in the freezer for 1 hour. Bring a pan of water to the boil, large enough to hold one lobster at a time and plenty of water to cover. For every litre of water, add 1tbsp sea salt flakes once the water is boiling.

Remove one lobster from the freezer. Take a sharp, pointed cook’s knife and turn the lobster onto its back on a chopping board (keep the elastic bands around the claws). Insert the point of the knife just below where the claws meet and quickly cut down through the head. Place in the pan and bring the water quickly back to the boil. As soon as the lobster turns red, remove, using tongs, to a sink full of very cold water (you may need to change the water at least once). Repeat with the other lobster. When cool enough to handle, twist off the claws and return them to the pan of boiling water for 3 minutes.

Cut each lobster in half from head to tail. Remove the stomach sac from behind the eyes, the intestinal canal and the gills. Remove the claws from the pan and plunge into cold water. Crack the claws, remove the meat and add to the head cavity.

Heat the grill and place the shelf 15cm from the heat source. Mix the oil and garlic together. Place the lobsters on a foil-lined tray with the lemons, brush with the oil mix and grill for around 3 minutes. Serve with the grilled lemons, basil oil, aïoli and Greek basil leaves.

Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes. Food styling and recipes: Linda Tubby.
Lobster 8990
Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes. Food styling and recipes: Linda Tubby.


Get Premium access to all the latest content online

Subscribe and view full print editions online... Subscribe