Romantic Dinner At Home

If you haven’t booked your dinner reservation for Valentine’s Day, don’t panic. Chef and cookbook author, Robin Asbell shares some recipes that include natural aphrodisiacs to help spark up some romance for you and your sweetie.

Asparagus Risotto with Truffle Oil
Serves 2

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bunch asparagus
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup carnaroli rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons truffle oil

1. Pour stock in a pan and bring to a boil. Slice the tips of the asparagus about 3 inches long. Drop into simmering stock to blanch for 3-4 minutes. Use tongs to remove asparagus and keep warm. Keep stock barely simmering. Thinly slice the remaining stems of the asparagus, discarding the tough base. In a heavy bottomed pan saute onion until soft. Add rice and saute, stirring to coat with oil. When rice is hot, add wine and cook until dry. Add ladlefuls of stock to rice and cook until absorbed before adding more. Add the sliced stems after 10 minutes.Start testing the rice for doneness about 12 minutes from when you added the wine. When rice is tender but not mushy, remove from heat and stir in parmesan, taste for salt. Serve topped with asparagus tips and drizzled with truffle oil.

Green Goddess of Love Crostini

Serves 4
12 slices baguette, 1/4 inch thick
1 large avocado, diced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 cup pumpkinseeds, toasted
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons flax oil (or xvoo)
tabasco sauce

1. Slice baguette on a diagonal and place on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350 degree oven to desired crispness, about 10 minutes. In a small skillet, over high heat, toast the pumpkinseeds, shaking often, until they start to pop. Let cool.
2. In a small bowl, Combine avocado, lime, pumpkinseeds, parsley and flax or olive oil. Top each slice of baguette with the avocado mixture, and sprinkle to taste with tabasco and salt.

Valentine’s Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad

The pink, strawberry flavored dressing gives this salad a Valentine’s color scheme.
Serves 4

1 small shallot
4 small strawberries
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 head butter lettuce
2 large oranges, sectioned
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1. In a blender or food processor, mince the shallot, then add the four strawberries and puree. Add the sugar and salt and puree, then drizzle in the olive oil with the machine running. Reserve.
2. On each of four salad plates, place butter lettuce, and top with orange sections, and arrange strawberries all around. Sprinkle with pistachios. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

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