This month, a sultry lineup of recipes to take you from Valentine’s Day to Valentine’s evening—starting with a ruby-red bowl of oatmeal and ending with a cocktail that’s (literally) full of passion.
Butter-Toasted Oat Breakfast Bowls from How Sweet It Is
Why does dinner get all the romance cred? We always talk about dinner dates, sultry nights out, wining and dining and all that. Breakfast is just as rich with romantic potential, as far as I’m concerned—hell, if you play your cards right you may still be in bed while it occurs. These breakfast bowls are light enough to not weigh you down first thing in the morning, and loaded with gorgeous blood oranges and fresh currants. Now that is a sexy bowl of oatmeal.
Passioned Green Tea Whiskey from Lady and Pups
Do I even need to explain why passion fruit is perfect for Valentine’s Day? It’s sweet, it’s floral—passion is right there in the name. This cocktail is deceptively simple, thanks to the passion fruit’s soft interior. You just have to scoop out the pulp and shake it with the other ingredients and you end up with an insta-cocktail. Look for inexpensive passion fruit in International District markets.
Marzipan Moose Mousse Cake from My Name is Yeh
This rich dark chocolate cake is frosted with a fluffy chocolate mousse icing and filled with raspberry preserves—classic Valentine’s Day, through and through. By the way, I have the Ikea cookie cutter set that the author used to make those marzipan ungulates, and let it be known that this cake could just as easily feature lovestruck squirrels, snails, or hedgehogs.
Puttanesca Sauce from Slate
Yes, puttanesca sauce really is named after the prostitutes who used to cook it between meetings with clients. But more importantly than its etymological origins, it’s damn tasty. Loaded with aromatic ingredients like olives, anchovies, capers, and garlic, this spicy and salty sauce will get your heart racing—even if your nighttime plans consist of watching Netflix and going to bed alone.
Sausage and Mushroom Risotto from Joy the Baker
If you’ll believe it, risotto is actually one of the cheapest, easiest, and most low-stress things you can make. It’s got a low input-to-impressive-output ratio, and if that’s not perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal, I don’t know what is.
Fennel, Prosciutto and Pomegranate Salad from Smitten Kitchen
Fennel is in season right now, and I can think of no sultrier way to prepare it than draped with salty cured prosciutto and dotted with pomegranate arils. But don’t be scared away by this sophisticated salad: all the ingredients are available at Trader Joe’s.