Caprese di Astice e Burrata | Italian Recipes | PBS Food

Caprese di Astice e Burrata (Heirloom Tomato, Housemade Burrata, Steamed Maine lobster)

Combine the wonderful tastes of lobster, heirloom tomatoes and burrata in this Italian dish. (Recipe courtesy of Lidia Bastianich.)


Yield: Serves 6 as an appetizer salad



  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 6 tablespoons for the lobster pot
  • 2 live lobsters, 1¼ pounds each
  • 3 or 4 ripe fresh tomatoes (about 1½ pounds), or 1 pound sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 2 or 3 tender stalks celery with a nice amount of leaves
  • Juice of 2 large lemons, freshly squeezed (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2 burrata shredded, let steep for 30 minutes – (about 11/2 cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley


  1. Fill the pot with 6 quarts water, add 6 tablespoons salt, and bring to a rolling boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, drop in the lobsters and cook them, uncovered, for exactly 10 minutes after the water returns to the boiling point (and then keep it boiling). At the end of 10 minutes (or a couple of minutes longer if the lobsters are larger than 1¼ pounds), lift the lobsters from the pot, rinse with cold water, drain, and let them cool.
  2. Core and cut the tomatoes in half, squeeze seeds out, reserve juice then cut into ½ inch . Chop the celery stalks crosswise into ½ -inch pieces, and roughly chop the leaves. Toss the tomatoes and celery together in a large bowl with ½ teaspoon of the salt.
  3. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, twist and pull off the claws and knuckle segments where the knuckles attach to the front of the body. Lay the clawless lobsters flat on a cutting board, and split them in half lengthwise, from head to tail, with a heavy chef ’s knife. Separate the meaty tail piece from the carcass (or body) of the four split halves.
  4. Cut the lobster body meat into pieces of whatever size you like, putting the clean pieces in a large mixing bowl as you work. Separate the knuckles from the claws, and crack open the shells of both knuckles and hard claw pincers with the thick edge of the knife blade, or kitchen shears, exposing the meat. Remove the meat from the knuckles and claws.
  5. Cut the tail pieces crosswise into 1 inch chunks, or leave them whole (which I prefer).
  6. To make the dressing: Whisk together the lemon juice, peperoncino, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Pour in the olive oil in a slow stream, whisking steadily to incorporate it into a smooth dressing.
  7. To serve: add the tomatoes and celery to the bowl of lobster pieces. Pour in the dressing, and tumble everything together until evenly coated. Scatter the parsley on top. To serve on flat plates place the burrata shreds around the plate drizzling the remaining cream around the plate. Divide the dressed lobster and vegetables and scatter on top and around the burrata on the plate. Drizzle remaining dressing.