Valentine’s Day is just one day a year but any day is a good day for romance. I’ve gathered together some of my favourite seductive, saucy, huggable dishes for delicious wooing and canoodling. The Romantic chapter in my Entertaining cookbook also has a heartfelt menu for dining à deux. That’s the spread above. How lovely does it look?
If you’re setting up for a special dinner, here are a few styling tips. Candles are a romantic cliché but for good reason. Their flickering, flattering glow sets the mood and the intention: this is a special occasion with a special person. Flowers, of course! Spelling your names or a message with Scrabble letters are a nice little touch and can allow for incidental accidental finger touching ;) I love these pretty lotus napkin folds too.
Guaranteed to liven tastebuds and get eyes sparkling, this flavoured salt turns melon cubes into love bombs: arrange fruit on a platter and sprinkle with the spicy salt. Valentine’s Tip: dip halved grapes into the crumb and pop them straight into your Romeo/Juliet’s mouth!
Oysters are a famous aphrodisiac…or supposedly! Did you know famous love-dove Casanova used to have 50 for breakfast? I wouldn’t necessarily believe everything I hear but I do think oysters are strangely perfect, just like love. Valentine’s Tip: discuss the science behind aphrodisiacs while slurping oysters together.
Lamb cutlets are a treat anytime you eat them, and so easy to dress up into a special meal. Chef Jesse McTavish gives us a masterclass in grilling lamb cutlets and serves them with three quick Thermo-condiments: a flavoured salt, a herb oil and a green salsa. Valentine’s Tip: keep your main course simple so you’ve got more time to stare into each other’s eyes.
A cheese platter is a wonderful, easy way to woo with food. Get the inside word on how best to craft a cheese platter with cheesemonger Anthony Femia. Valentine’s Tip: cutting the last morsel of cheese into ever-tinier halves is a cute way to come closer.
One of the world’s great desserts and extra fun to make together, serve it whole for attacking à deux with plenty of cream or ice cream. Valentine’s Tip: It’s French so of course it’s romantic. Say “tart tatt-tang” to sound extra French!
Did someone say brunch? Whether you’re serving this for the morning after the night before, or to someone you’ve lived with for decades, there’s something sustaining and hearty about this Anglo-Indian rice dish. Valentine’s Tip: sprinkle the eggs with chilli flakes for extra sparkle.