As you know, a Valentine’s Day dinner can be the perfect way to express your feelings. Why not celebrate the occasion of love with an intimate romantic meal for two? Entice your taste buds by setting the mood for an unforgettable evening.
Every year, I start the search for ideas about Valentine’s Day and eagerly look for new ways to include creativity and meaning. Ultimately, there is a special joy in discovering innovative ways to turn this day into a fun celebration. Following, here are FIVE WAYS ways that you can take your celebration to the next level and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Thankfully, we’ve also included some wonderful recipes at the end too. 🙂
1. Enjoy Fresh Catch at a Seaside Restaurant
For those couples who adore the ocean’s bounty, a seafood feast is an excellent choice. With this in mind, seek out the place that just oozes romantic vibes and serves up coastal dishes that make your taste buds do a little happy dance. To start off the evening, oysters make the ideal appetizer and have the bonus of impressive health benefits. Amazingly, they are packed with nutrition and a special treat for Valentine’s Day. Certainly, it’s a special time to splurge on your favorites. Succulent lobster, buttery scallops, or grilled shrimp…the choices are endless.
2. Cruisin’ On the Bay
Thinking of something unique for Valentine’s Day? How about hopping aboard a sunset cruise? Just think – you and your special someone, surrounded by the warm colors of the setting sun, and the gentle lull of the waves will make the evening even more memorable. And, if you’re anything like me, it’s the kind of experience that adds that extra touch of magic to your Valentine’s Day celebration.
3. Picnic for Two
Here’s a fun twist for your Valentine’s Day dinner – a beachside picnic. Just imagine finding that perfect spot, laying out a spread of gourmet cheeses, prosciutto, and some delicious crusty bread. And, don’t forget the wine to add a little extra sparkle to your evening. It’s the kind of laid-back charm that turns a simple dinner into a memorable celebration.
4. COUPLES WITH CLASS
However, you might be willing to spice up your Valentine’s Day plans with a different vibe. How about joining a special Valentine’s Day Dinner Cooking Class for a change of pace? Truly, it’s not just about the cooking; it’s about creating something together. Just imagine, you and your date/spouse/friend standing side by side, with matching aprons and whipping up a delectable meal together. It’s a hands-on experience that adds an extra dash of flavor to your celebration!
5. LET’S GET COOKING VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER
However, when it comes to celebrating, one of my absolute favorite things is cooking up a special dinner for my loved ones. For me, it’s all about setting the mood – a table adorned with fresh flowers, nice tableware and favorite tunes creating the perfect background ambiance. There’s just something special about enjoying good food in a cozy setting. Truly, it’s those little moments that make celebrations truly memorable!
Now, just scroll down to find our absolute favorite Valentine’s Day dinner, complete with recipes – all ready to inspire your celebration. Yes, let the deliciousness begin!
This refreshing and elegant starter is perfect for your Valentine’s Day dinner. These delightful bites are a modern twist on the classic Italian Caprese, combining juicy melon with creamy mozzarella. Drizzled with a basil glaze, they’ll tantalize the taste buds – and offer a stunning presentation!
MELON CAPRESE SKEWERS
½ cup Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 small cantaloupe, scooped into balls
1 small honeydew, scooped into balls
10 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise
1 small seedless watermelon, scooped into balls
20 fresh water-packed mozzarella balls, drained
Freshly cracked black pepper
For the Basil Vinaigrette
1 shallot, roughly chopped
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp Kosher salt
First, thread an assortment of the ingredients on the skewer – melon ball, basil leaf, mozzarella ball, ruffled prosciutto, etc. Feel free to use your imagination!
Next, arrange skewers on platter. Finally, drizzle with basil vinaigrette and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Note: The dressing will last up to a week in the refrigerator.
CENTER OF ATTENTION
Granted, the main course should be the centerpiece of your meal. However, you certainly don’t want to spend the entire day in the kitchen preparing it. We’ve chosen a dish that isn’t complicated – it just seems like it is!
This amazing entree marries the delicate richness of perfectly cooked salmon with the crunchy appeal of a pistachio crust, forging an indulgent and sophisticated balance. Allow the combination of flavors and textures to highlight your romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. Sincerely, this dish is truly yummy!
PISTACHIO CRUSTED SALMON
1 lb. salmon fillet or fillets, skin on (wild caught, if possible)
¾ t Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ T Dijon Mustard
1 ½ T maple syrup
2 T Italian panko (or Italian breadcrumbs) *Don’t use GF*
1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios
2-4 T grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
First, bring the salmon to room temperature and pat it dry. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Next, in a small bowl, mix the Dijon mustard and syrup, then brush it onto the fish in an even layer.
Then, in another small bowl, mix the finely chopped pistachios, Italian panko, and Parmesan cheese. Afterwards, sprinkle the pistachio mixture on top of fish.
Finally, bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the salmon flakes with a fork. The internal temperature should be between 125 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. Then, serve immediately.
Note: We recommend Italian panko or Italian breadcrumbs because they’re already seasoned. Honestly, panko is best since it’s the lightest and crunchiest. If all you can find is regular panko, mix 2 tablespoons panko with 1 pinch Kosher salt and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (or ¼ teaspoon each dried oregano and dried basil.)
CREAMY SIDE DISH
Whereas many people believe risotto requires constant stirring and attention, that’s not always the case. Thankfully, you can make a beautiful creamy risotto easily and quickly to be the perfect accompaniment to your salmon. And now, here’s the recipe!
2 tablespoons butter
⅔ cup sliced green onion
1 ⅓ cups uncooked long-grain rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
First, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir sliced green onions into the hot butter briefly, then add rice. Afterwards, cook and stir until rice is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
Next, pour in water; season with chicken bouillon and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Then, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In addition, another touch of culinary sophistication for your Valentine’s Day dinner is this delectable side dish. Delicately seasoned and perfectly roasted, these vibrant green spears are a fresh burst of color and a wonderfully distinctive taste added to your plate. Indeed, just these easy steps.
BAKED ASPARAGUS WITH PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO
1 lb. asparagus
2 T olive oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano slivers, shaved from 4 oz. chunk
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 T chopped parsley or fresh-snipped chives (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F. To start, snap off the tough bottoms of the asparagus and discard. Wash spears and pat dry, then place in a 9” x 13” inch baking dish. Then, pour olive oil over asparagus and roll spears until evenly coated. Afterwards, arrange spears in a single layer and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Next, cover dish with foil and bake 12 to 15 minutes until asparagus is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. (Dish can be prepared ahead to this point.) Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to create thin slivers of Parmigiano- Reggiano to equal ¼ cup of thin slivers. Scatter the slivers over the asparagus and return the dish to the oven. Then, continue baking just until the cheese softens, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Lastly, place asparagus onto warm plates and sprinkle with several drops of balsamic vinegar and chopped parsley or snipped chives. Serve immediately.
HOW SWEET IT IS
One yummy way to end your Valentine’s Day dinner is to dip some succulent strawberries into a fondue pot filled with rich, warm and velvety chocolate. This promises to make hearts melt – literally!
A DELECTABLE CONCLUSION
Complete your Valentine’s Day dinner with the decadent pleasure of a chocolate cake – which also happens to be gluten-free. The absence of traditional flour doesn’t compromise on taste or texture; instead, it allows the deep cocoa flavors and rich chocolatey goodness to take center stage in this velvety smooth and dense dessert. Talk about a show-stopping finale! Enjoy – and you’re welcome!
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE (GF)
½ cup prepared strong coffee; decaf is fine
¾ cup granulated sugar
18 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate
1 cup salted butter, cut into small pieces
6 large eggs
Kettle of boiling water
To start, preheat oven to 300 degrees F, with rack on lower middle position.
First, pour boiling water into a large baking pan, and place pan in oven on lowest rack. Line an 8 ½ inch springform pan with parchment on the bottom. Grease and flour (any gluten-free flour will work) the parchment and sides of the springform pan. Wrap the exterior pan with heavy duty foil.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the prepared coffee and sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Next, in a heavy pan on lowest heat, stir the bittersweet chocolate chunks until just small bits of chocolate remain unmelted. Turn heat off, remove pan from heat, and continue stirring to finish the melting until chocolate is completely smooth. Transfer melted chocolate into bowl of stand mixer. Slowly beat the butter into the chocolate, 1 piece at a time. Gently beat in the hot coffee/sugar mixture.
Then, beat in the eggs, one at a time, just until fully combined. Scrape the bowl and ensure that all batter is fully smooth and incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes on lower middle rack. The center should be wet looking, with edges looking done and puffy. The cake will set as it cools, so don’t worry about the jiggly center.
Finally, let cake cool to room temperature in pan and then cover/chill overnight in refrigerator. To unmold, run a thin plastic knife carefully between cake and pan all around the edges. Unlock springform, and it should release cake easily. Keep chilled until an hour before serving. Slice cake and serve with berries and Kahlua whipped cream, if desired.
Notes: Leftover cake freezes nicely. Wrap up airtight and freeze for several weeks.
Kahlua Whipped Cream
Add 2-4 ounces Kahlua liqueur and mix with heavy whipping cream and confectioners sugar. We especially love this recipe.
A SPECIAL NIGHT
In conclusion, Valentine’s Day is all about making those around you feel truly cared for and appreciated. We hope your special day is one to remember!