ALL you romantics out there would do well to take heed of novelist Virginia Woolf’s advice: “One cannot think well, love well or sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
And, as it is said that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, what better way to woo your lover this Valentine’s Day than by impressing them with your culinary skills.
You might even take a leaf out of Cleopatra or Casanova’s book and indulge in some classic aphrodisiacs believed to whet your appetite and your sexual desire.
One classic treat widely believed to have magical mood enhancing properties is oysters and Casanova himself was said to eat 50 a day.
According to the researchers raw oysters are very high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production, thus increasing libido.
But there are also other – slightly less slimy – delicacies that apparently also do the trick. These include asparagus, which was served to French bridegrooms in the 19th-century as their pre-nuptial dinner.
Other, perhaps more Spanish delicacies are almonds, the aroma of which supposedly arouses passion in females, and figs, said to be Cleopatra’s favourite food.
And then, of course, there is chocolate, famously the ‘food of the gods.’
So, with that in mind, uncork your wine (or bubbly for Olive Press readers), light your candles, play your favourite romantic songs (Eminem doesn’t really work) and let our special lovers menu inspire you…
Starter: Fresh Figs with Rosemary Goat Cheese
3/4 cup soft mild goat cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 pound fresh figs
Whisk together all ingredients except the figs until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Place mixture in centre of a platter.
Halve figs and arrange around goat cheese for dipping.
Main course: Pan-Seared fillet steak with asparagus
Fillet steak – Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Heat a pan over a medium to high heat.
Rub fillet steak in olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Sear briefly on each side to seal, then cook to your preference.
Blanch asparagus spears in hot water until tender.
Dessert: Chocolate fondue
Fruit and marshmallows for dipping
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons brandy or rum
Melt the whipping cream and chocolate.
Pour the mixture into a ceramic pot made for dessert fondues and stir in the brandy or rum. Keep warm on low heat.
Use a dipping fork to dip the fruit slices and marshmallows into the warm chocolate.