Don’t get us wrong, we love going out to dinner, but when it comes to Valentine’s Day, we much prefer dining at home. Less crowded, less over-the-top PDA, and generally much more economical. Plus, there’s nothing more romantic than cooking for your S.O.! So, we’ve rustled up the perfect 3 course red-infused V-day menu that pairs perfectly with mood lighting and one of these ruby red cocktails.
A big meat and cheese board with all the trappings is the perfect appetizer to graze on before the main course. It pairs excellently with all the wine and cocktails, and you can munch on it together while you finish up cooking.
Charred Endive and Radicchio Salad
This super-simple salad of wintry greens is really easy to throw together and provides a bright, bold contrast to the indulgent and rich meal to come! The zingy dressing pairs well with many kinds of greens, so feel free to swap in your lettuces—just make sure you keep the radicchio around, the reddish hue is the perfect themed flourish.
2 lemons, juiced
4 juniper berries
2 tablespoons bonito flakes
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Salt & pepper
½ head radicchio, quartered
1 head endive, quartered
½ bunch mustard greens, cut in 1-inch pieces
In a blender combine the lemon juice, juniper berries, bonito flakes, and rice vinegar and pulse. Turn the blender to high and slowly add the olive oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the radicchio and endive quarters with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the quarters. Grill until lightly charred, about 3 minutes on each side.
In medium bowl combine the grilled radicchio and endive with the mustard greens and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the salad between two plates and serve.
Salmon with beet risotto
The risotto in this supremely elegant main course gets its bright red hue (are you noticing a theme here?) from baby beets. We love squeezing the slightly smoky lemon over the fish for a seriously enticing combo of flavors. Making risotto definitely means true love.
Steak with red wine jus
Steak, red wine, cheesy potatoes—we literally can’t think of anything more romantic…mic drop.
(ps. you can order this one from Plated right now).
10 ounces cauliflower florets
⅛ ounce parsley
⅛ ounce thyme
6 ounces cipollini onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon honey
½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse cauliflower and cut to 1-inch wide florets, if needed. Roughly chop parsley and thyme leaves, discarding stems. Peel cipollini onions. Using the flat side of a knife, gently crush garlic cloves.
On a baking sheet, toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer. In a medium ovenproof pan, stir together balsamic vinegar, red wine, honey, onions, crushed garlic cloves, and half of herbs to combine. Transfer baking sheet and pan to oven and roast together until vegetables are golden, and wine is syrupy, 20 minutes. Set aside.
While vegetables roast, pat steaks dry with paper towel and season all over with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a separate medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add steaks and sear until browned and medium rare, 4–5 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes.
Once vegetables have roasted, in a blender or food processor, combine Parmesan, cauliflower, 2 tablespoons cream, 1 packet butter, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Pulse until creamy and almost smooth, about 30 seconds. Alternately, combine ingredients in a large bowl. Using a large fork or potato masher, mash until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper. Cover with foil to keep warm. Save remaining cream for a cup of coffee.
Transfer roasted onions to a bowl and discard garlic, leaving behind red wine reduction in pan. Add remaining butter to pan with red wine reduction and whisk until smooth and fully incorporated, 1 minute. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
Cut steaks against the grain into ¼-inch slices (see recipe tip). Divide Parmesan-mashed cauliflower between serving plates. Top with seared steak, then cipollini onions. Drizzle over red wine reduction and garnish with remaining herbs. Enjoy!
Raspberry marble cake
Marbling is one of our favorite baking techniques—it’s super simple but looks very elegant. In our recipe, red raspberry preserves are dolloped into white chocolate cake batter for a festive, pink and white V-day treat. Drizzle some chocolate syrup, add a scoop of raspberry sorbet, and you’ve got a seriously delicious dessert.
This lighter-on-the-liquor combo really ups the ante in terms of color and tang. Mildly bitter aperol adds even more flavor to this simple mix of cranberry syrup, orange bitters, and seltzer. We love it for the red hue and it’s not too boozy.
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