Last year, Luke cooked a gourmet multi-course dinner for me so this year I told him I would return the effort. I didn’t realize that this year Valentine’s Day would be on a Monday so my time was very limited.
But, I managed to pull together a tasty meal that wasn’t entirely of things we’ve had before!
warm edamame — since i realized i didn’t have any major proteins in the rest of the meal, I decided we should start with these beans. Plus, Luke could nibble while i tinkered in the kitchen for the finishing touches of the meal.
my new favorite: Arugula, Endive, Avocado, Granny Smith, Fennel and Dried Cranberries with a lemon vinaigrette. The original recipe called for chunks of provolone, too, but I skip the cheese.
Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed with Fennel on a bed of Radicchio and Pea Risotto. I served a half red bell pepper with long slivers of fennel wedged inside. It kind of looks like a red heart with a white center — although I absent-mindedly chose a pepper that was more square than heart shaped. I drizzled balsamic vinegar inside the pepper halves before putting the fennel in and placing them face down on the top rack of the broiler. It was quite sweet and contrasted very well with the creamy, slightly bitter risotto. Eating risotto always reminds me of living in Venice, and eating home-cooked risotto with Adriana and Luigi.
I bought two mini tarts from Once Upon a Tart on Sullivan Street: the chocolate walnut and the pear almond. To tart them up for Valentine’s Day, I heated some wild berry preserves with a little bit of white wine and lemon juice, shaved some orange rind over it and then circled the plate with the ruby-red sauce. I sliced some gorgeous blood-red strawberries and placed them around the plate in and on the sauce. The tarts stood alone in the center. MMMM. it was hard to go from the pear to the chocolate because the pear tart was so subtle and smooth, with a light hint of lemon and not very sweet at all. The chocolate tart is a chocoholic’s dream, a deep, dark chocolate flavor.
What did Luke make last year? Check out his menu.