Recipe: Ajaccio-style Lobster from Corsica: The Recipes »

By local expert Nicolas Stromboni

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<i>Corsica: The Recipes</i> By Nicolas Stromboni

Corsica: The Recipes By Nicolas Stromboni [©Smith Street Books ]

Ajaccio Style Lobster from <i>Corsica</i> by Nicolas Stromboni


Nicolas Stromboni celebrates all that is Corsica in this beautifully photographed book. Over 80 recipes, all designed for you to dish up at home, take you across the country with its amazing geography and blend of food styles from France and Italy.

Largely unexplored by those visiting from out of Europe, Corsica is a Mediterranean island with an incredibly rich food culture that blends the best of French and Italian cuisine.

Corsica: The Recipes not only shares the food but tells the stories of the characters who live and work there. This is just one of the 80 delicious recipes waiting to be discovered.

Ajaccio-style Lobsters

Equipment: A bowl, a whisk, a sauté pan, an ovenproof dish

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 small lobsters
  • 1 egg, separated
  • olive oil
  • pinch of saffron
  • ½ bunch parsley, chopped
  • a little orange zest
  • small handful arbabarona (wild caraway thyme) or thyme, leaves picked
  • salt and black pepper
  • 60 ml (2 floz/¼ cup) aged eau de vie or cognac


Place the lobsters in the freezer to send them to sleep. [Ed: Or you can use frozen lobsters/defrosted]

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).

Split the lobsters lengthways, [Ed: remove and discard the 'string' (intenstine)] and remove the tomalley*, setting it aside.

Make a simple mayonnaise by whisking the egg yolk in a bowl and very slowly pouring in enough olive oil to obtain a smooth emulsion. Beat the egg white to soft peaks and gently fold it into the mayonnaise, along with the tomalley*. Add some saffron threads.

Mix the parsley, orange zest with a little arbabarona in a small bowl.

Brown the lobsters in some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and flambé them with the eau de vie.

Gently detach the flesh from the shell and slide a spoonful of the chopped herbs under each lobster.

Cover them with the saffron mayonnaise and give them 5 minutes in the oven.

Eat straight away.

To drink: A two-year-old Chiesa Nera white from Clos Venturi.

Note: I had the opportunity to flambé this dish with eau de vie in 1943, and I retain a very precise gastronomic memory of it.I don’t know if on that day it was the eau de vie or the scampi that struck me most … If you can’t find a slightly old eau de vie, don’t hesitate to use a good cognac – the scampi will repay you for it. You can serve this good-looking dish with a few jacket potatoes with saffron butter.

*[Ed: tomalley (sometimes called lobster paste) is the soft, green substance found in the body cavity of lobsters.]

This recipe from Corsica: The Recipes by Nicolas Stromboni is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers/distributors.

Read more on Corsica here »

Corsica  – The Recipes by Nicolas Stromboni is published by Smith Street Books (Melb,Oct 2017; Hb; 308pp; RRP A$59.99) and is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Simon & Schuster.

It is available in good bookshops and can also purchased online via »


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