Today is the day to wear as much reds and pinks to content your heart’s desire! (Feels just like yesterday that we were wearing reds for Christmas, then Chinese New Years!) Valentines season provides us with a chance to do something special, to shower someone close to you with affection, and to showcase the beauty of this little thing we call love.
We are cooking up a feast for you. Because you, my friend, are our valentine.
A jar of Sangria, two refreshing appetizers, adorable pink bowtie pasta, and an icy strawberry dessert.
We hope you can join us because you don’t want to miss out, trust me.
- Moscato (Shop for a local white wine! We used Naked Grape Moscat from Niagara Falls!)
- Perrier – unsweetened lemon (you can pick a sweetened carbonated soda!)
Mix all of the above for a colourful and light drink to go with this meal!
- 1 loaf of Ciabatta bread or whole grain buns
- 1 cup (250 g) red cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup (or enough to cover tomatoes and bread!) of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) fresh Italian basil, julienned
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) flat leaf parsley, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Toss tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Add salt and pepper and basils. Set aside.
Combine parsley, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a separate bowl
Slice bread into ½” slices.
Brush both sides of bread with the olive oil.
Heat a grill pan, toaster oven or BBQ to medium high heat.
Grill or toast bread on the side until nicely toasted.
Top with tomato mixture and enjoy!
A light, fresh way to start off the Valentine’s lunch. Fresh, sweet tomatoes with a nice tangy punch from guests like basil and parsley.
ROASTED RED PEPPER SOUP
Inspired by A Spicy Perspective
- 3 red bell peppers, halved and cleaned
- 3 cloves garlic, in peel (no need to cut or peel!)
- 2 cups of chopped onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large sprigs of fresh thyme (1 tbsp leaves)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground pepper
Quarter the peppers and remove all seeds and membranes.
Place the peppers and garlic cloves on a foiled baking sheet.
Broil the red peppers and garlic for 15 minutes on the upper rack.
Remove from oven once the peppers and garlic have dehydrated and wrinkled.
Preheat a large pot to medium heat.
Toss in the oil, onions, bay leaves, and thyme.
Cook for 10 minutes until onions are soft.
Add broth, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
Add the garlic and peppers.
Cover and cook another 20 minutes.
Throw into a blender, secure lid, and blend until desired consistency. We used a Blendtec.
PINK BOWTIE PASTA
Inspired by the lovely Sara of The McGrath’s Kitchen
- 1 ½ cup of bow tie pasta (also called Farfalle)
- ½ cup of fresh cream
- ¼ cup of beetroot juice (from the can or from boiling the beets for 30 minutes)
- 100g of feta cheese (half a pack of the tub)
- ½ tbsp of butter
- shrimp (optional topping)
- A dash of garlic salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
Cook pasta as instructed on package! Throw in the pasta only when the water is bubbling and boiling.
While pasta is boiling, cook the sauce on low-medium heat.
Boil beets if using fresh beets
Peel and juice the beets (You can throw them into a blender and put them through a sieve to retrieve its fresh juices!)
Combine the fresh cream and beetroot juice in a different pan, stir occasionally
Add the cheese. Let it cook until the pasta is aldante.
Sauté shrimp with lemon juice and butter in a larger skillet
Add cream sauce and pasta.
Cookuntil the pasta has soaked in most of the sauce, yay!
The gorgeous pastel pink reminds me of strawberry milk. Add more beet juice if you like a sweeter sauce!
- 1 ⅔ cups of sliced hulled strawberries
- ¾ cup of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cups cold water
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup chilled whipping cream
Puree strawberries, sugar, and salt in processor until smooth.
Blend with water and lemon juice.
Strain a freezer safe container and cover.
Stir with a fork every half hour
The sides will freeze the soonest, stir these into the middle.
Repeat until mixture becomes a coarse icy texture.
Approximately 5 hours, to speed up freezing time, split up the mixture into wide shallow containers.
Beat 1 cup chilled whipping cream until firm peaks form.
Or substitute with fat free yogurt with honey for a healthy alternative!
Fill serving glasses with whipped cream and top with Strawberry Granita!
This beautiful italian dessert can be made ahead of time, just remember to keep it frozen.
Granitas also work with other fruits as well, so be creative.
Some Ideas: Mango + Coconut + Pineapple Puree = Pina Colada Granita! Yummmmm.
Happy Valentines Day!
Eunice + Ivy