This is a recipe I entered into a contest sponsored by California Walnuts in conjunction with the Waldorf Astoria where the challenge was to "refresh" the traditional Waldorf salad using celery, apples and walnuts. I am proud that this recipe made it to the top three of all the creative and lovely recipes submitted.
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
What a salad! You have the silky sweet lobster, combined with the crunchiness of apples and celery. Sweet chili coated walnuts add a surprise crunch and pop of flavor. The light dressing coating the lettuce is delightful.
1In a medium skillet with a lid, mix together the coconut milk and red curry paste. Add the lobster meat. (I used 3 four ounce tails, but using a whole lobster removed from the shell is fine too.) Over medium low heat bring it up to just a simmer. Turn the lobster over, cover it and remove it from the heat. Allow the lobster to steep, covered until it has cooled down.
2Mix together the walnuts, sweet red chili sauce, sugar and salt, spread them out on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake them in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until just crisp, being careful not to burn them.
3Mix together the mayonnaise, fish sauce, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the coconut sauce that the lobster cooked in. Mix in the celery and green apples. Cut the lobster into fork sized pieces and gently mix it and the walnuts into the mayonnaise mixture.
4In a large bowl whisk together the walnut oil, lime juice and salt. Stir in the basil and mint and toss lightly with the Bibb or Butter lettuce.
5To plate, divide the lightly dressed lettuce and top with the Waldorf salad and add a few snipped chives. Serves 4.