3 Valentine’s Day menus — veggie, pescatarian and meaty — to cook with that special someone

3 Valentine’s Day menus — veggie, pescatarian and meaty — to cook with that special someone

Oh, Valentine’s Day, the Hallmark holiday many love to love and many others love to hate. Whatever your plans may be, we’re big fans of cooking in. Here are three menus (mixing and matching encouraged!) to get your planning started.

For the vegetarians:

Eggplant Steaks With Salsa Verde, above. Thick slices of eggplant get loaded with flavor thanks to a garlicky oil and a punchy Italian-style herb sauce. Serve on a bed of couscous or your favorite grain.


(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe. It’s a simple but beautiful side; a quick dip in boiling water helps to tame the green’s bitter edge before the stalks spend a few minutes in a skillet getting acquainted with some oil and pepper flakes.


(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Brownie Tarts. You’ve been good (and healthful) with your main course and sides — time to indulge. They’re good warm, if you’d like to quickly assemble and bake after dinner, but know they are also delicious at room temperature. Either way, serve with some lightly sweetened whipped cream.

If you prefer fish:


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Basil-Grilled Tuna With Bitter Greens. Tuna steaks get a quick soak in garlic, basil, lemon and oil before they’re seared on the stove and served with a lovely salad of bitter greens.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Crushed Potatoes With Horseradish Cream. The main course is so flavorful that you might not need more than simple roasted potatoes to be satisfied; up the ante with these crushed spuds, topped with a decadent cream. (We might also add a spoonful of salmon roe on top, just for fun.)


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Dorie Greenspan’s Cream-and-Crunch Puffs. These lovely bites can be made up to four days ahead, making dessert time easy. It makes a big batch, so you can share some with friends, too.

Something meaty


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Cast-Iron Pork Tenderloin With Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. It’s not steak; it’s better. The pork is simply seared on the stove before being finished off in the oven — nothing too difficult! — but this recipe is really all about the sauce: It’s fruity and has a little depth from a splash of bourbon. (But if you’re looking for something beefy, try these customizable Skirt Steak Pinwheels.) Serve with a loaf of really great bread (we’re thinking something seedy).


(Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post)

Chopped String Beans With Basil and Pine Nuts. This might be our new favorite way to eat green beans — the hefty amount of basil makes this side dish something extraordinary.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Rich Chocolate Fondue. This couldn’t be simpler to whip up — we recommend making it just before you plan on dipping, since reheating it can cause texture issues. Serve with any number of dried or fresh fruit, cubes of cake or marshmallows. (Fondue pot optional, but it does add a little somethin’ somethin’, don’t you think?)

More from Food:

5 wines perfect for Valentine’s Day

The heart races — for chocolate. Here are five quick-fix ways to enjoy it.

Licorice is easy to hate, which makes it much more fun to love

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