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Lobster Pate With Pistachios

Lobster Pate With Pistachios 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Jun 20, 2017

This sounds fancy, but it’s a fairly modest way to stretch a finite amount of lobster meat.

Lobster butter will enhance the flavor here; it calls for shell pieces from a 1-pound lobster and is easy to make (see NOTE, below). But you’ll need extra time to do so.

Serve with crusty French bread, soft brioche or neutral-tasting cracker, like a water cracker or plain Melba toast.

Make Ahead: The pâté needs to be refrigerated for 2 or 3 hours before serving, and up to 3 days.

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings; makes a generous 2 cups

  • 1/2 cup shelled unsalted raw pistachio nuts
  • 4 tablespoons lobster butter (may substitute softened unsalted high-fat butter; see NOTE and headnote)
  • 4 ounces flounder fillet or other tender, sweet white fish, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked lobster meat, including some body meat and fat, if possible, and any coral (from two 1-pound soft-shell lobsters or use frozen/defrosted)
  • 2 teaspoons cognac or brandy
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • A few gratings of nutmeg
  • Salmon roe, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Spread the nuts in a shallow pan; toast them in the oven (middle rack) for 10 minutes, or just until fragrant. Coarsely chop the still-warm toasted pistachios.

Combine the lobster butter and fish in a saute pan over low heat; cook for about 3 minutes or until the fish turns opaque.

Transfer the fish and the butter to a food processor; add 1 cup of the lobster meat and any coral, if that's available. Pulse, and then puree until smooth. Add the cognac or brandy, salt and nutmeg; puree until well incorporated. Remove the blade from the food processor bowl, scraping off as much of the pâté mixture as possible.

Coarsely chop the remaining 1/2 cup of lobster meat and add to the mixture, along with the chopped toasted pistachios. Stir gently to incorporate. Taste and add more salt, as needed.

Transfer to a crock or serving container with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Serve garnished with salmon roe, if desired.

NOTE: To make the lobster butter, break up the spent shells of a 1-pound cooked lobster into small pieces. Place them in a deep saucepan along with 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) of good-quality, high-fat, unsalted butter over low heat, stirring to incorporate, until the butter has melted. After a few minutes, turn off the heat and let steep for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Transfer the shells and melted butter to a fine-mesh strainer, using your clean hands to extract as much of the butter as possible from the shells. Discard them. The yield should be at least 4 tablespoons, all of which you will need for this recipe; it depends on how assiduous you are at extracting all the butter. Store any leftover butter in a small container and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 2 weeks). Use the leftover lobster butter in a hollandaise sauce or as a cooking fat for your favorite seafood.

Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe in the September-October 1984 issue of Yankee magazine.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 8): 130

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 9g 14%

Saturated Fat: 4g 20%

Cholesterol: 60mg 20%

Sodium: 280mg 12%

Total Carbohydrates: 2g 1%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 8g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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