Serve with chilled white wine and eat in the garden.
Langoustines are such a treat, but a rare sight at the fishmonger. If you do manage to find them (my fishmonger usually has them on Fridays and Saturdays and will reserve some if you phone in advance), they are nicest served cold with mayonnaise or briefly grilled with a garlic and herb butter, as here.
• 100g soft unsalted butter
• 2 large garlic cloves
• Good squeeze of lemon juice
• 1tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
• 1tbsp chopped fresh chives
• 1tbsp chopped fresh chervil
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 20 cooked langoustines
1) Beat the butter until really soft, then add the garlic, lemon juice, herbs and seasoning. Season.
2) Shape half of the mixture into a log, wrap in cling film and chill.
3) Cut each langoustine in half lengthways and arrange, flesh-side up, on one or two large baking trays.
4) Brush with the reserved butter mixture and cook under a medium grill for a couple of minutes until hot.
5) Take care not to overcook them or the delicate texture will be spoilt.
6) Serve at once on warm plates dotted with slices of the chilled garlic and herb butter.