Valentine’s. You either love it, or you don’t. Fact is, whatever your sentiment, there is absolutely no way around it: every shop, every hotel, every bar and every restaurant puts on a Special for the big V-Day. To escape the frenzy and spend a truly romantic evening with your beloved, why not stay in and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal?
For the occasion, I teamed up with Coolbrandzand Obrist to come up with a special meal for two that wasn’t your standard, smoked salmon starter, beef main and a chocolat fondant for dessert. I wanted to share my love for healthy food and to show that even when it comes to a special occasion, healthy food doesn’t mean boring food.
I hope you enjoy this meal.
Raw beetroot salad with grilled honey glazed goats’ cheese
- 1 large beetroot, peeled and trimmed
- 1 medium Chioggia beet, peeled and trimmed
- 200mls of raspberry vinegar (or another vinegar of your choice)
- 1 carrot, peeled
- 100g mixed leaf salad
- 200g firm goat’s cheese, cut into 2-4 rounds depending the size of the cheese
- 2 tsps of honey
- Use 6 tbsp of the vinegar from the beetroots
- 4 tbsp of high-quality olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Use a mandolin or a sharp knife and thinly slice the beetroot and Chioggia. Place them in a bowl and add the vinegar. Leave it for 3 hours or overnight so that the raw beetroot has time to pickle. Then, take the carrot and, using a vegetable peeler, create thin ribbons that you can use to add a little color and decoration to the plate. Brush the goat’s cheese with the honey so that one side of each round is nicely coated. Place them on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Cook under a preheated hot grill for 8-10 minutes or until golden and then remove from the oven. Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Plate up the dish by placing a few mixed leaves on a plate, take a few slices of beetroot and place them delicately on the salad leaves. Add the sliced goats cheese and finish with a 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing.
OBRIST YOLO BLANC >>>, Vaud AOC 2016, Doral, Pinot Gris: a wonderfully balanced, crisp Doral and Pinot Gris blend. Of golden yellow color, YOLO Blanc reveals, fruity aromas with notes of citrus fruits, apricots, quince and fresh figs. A wonderfully supple wine that is accentuated by a lively acidity. It is best served at a temperature of 10 – 12 ° C.
Middle eastern lamb kofta with homemade pita bread, tzatziki and hummus
Pita bread Ingredients (makes 6)
- 1 packet of yeast
- 3 tsps warm water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 250g whole wheat flour
- 250g all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp honey
- 100 ml of warm milk
To make your own pita bread, first combine water and yeast in a small bowl. Let that mix sit for a few minutes. Then, add the honey to the yeast mixture and stir. Put both flours in a bowl with the salt. Add the milk to the yeast mixture and then combine it all with the flour. Start using your hands to combine all the ingredients and add warm water – if necessary – until you have created a ball of dough. Knead the dough for about 10 mins or until nice and supple. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a tea towel to let it rise for an hour. Turn the dough onto the floured surface and divide it into smaller balls (6 or 15). Preheat the oven to 220 ° C. Roll each ball with a rolling pin until they are about 2mm thick. Place the disks on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush on water on one side of the pita. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until circles puff up like pillows and are lightly brown – don’t over bake!
- 300 g canned chickpeas
- 2 tbsps of tahini
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tsps of salt
- Some olive oil
- A handful of pomegranate seeds
Empty the chickpeas into a bowl, keeping 50ml of the liquid from the can. Rinse the chickpeas and place them in a food processor with the salt and tahini. Add part of the chickpea liquid and half of the lemon juice and blend until you have a smooth consistency. Add a bit more lemon juice or the chickpea liquid if it isn’t smooth enough. Taste and season accordingly. Place the hummus in a bowl and drizzle some olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika or the pomegranates on top before serving.
- 150g Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 the juice of a lemon
- A small handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
Put the grated cucumber into a clean cloth and twist the cloth to drain the liquid. Combine the greek yogurt, grated cucumber, olive oil, mint, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Place the bowl in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Lamb Koftas Ingredients (makes 6-8)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 1 garlic cloves, crushed
- 400g lamb mince
- Small handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
- A small handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 2 tsp of cumin powder
- 1 tsp of coriander
- Mini wooden skewers
- Salt & pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180 ° C. In a bowl combine the lamb, mint, parsley, onion, garlic, the spices and the seasoning and combine well. Take a skewer and form a little kofta with the mince, covering half of the skewer. Make sure you squeeze the mix as you form it around the skewer as this will ensure that they don’t fall apart when cooking. Place all of the skewers in an ovenproof dish and place in the oven for 20 mins or until cooked through.
OBRIST YOLO ROUGE >>>, Chablais AOC, Merlot, Galotta. A characterful ruby red wine with a glowing robe. It features a delightful aromatic complexity with notes of cherry, plum, blueberry, licorice, vetiver and caramel. YOLO Rouge is rich and strong wine with concentrated, meaty tannins. It is best served at 15 – 17 ° C.
Chocolate cardamom chocolate mousse with a pistachio sugar shard
Ingredients for the mousse
- 50g dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tsps of ground cardamom
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water or in the microwave on Medium for 1½-2 mins. Leave to cool slightly. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then whisk in the sugar and cardamom. Fold in the melted chocolate. Divide between 2 small dishes or cups.
Ingredients for the sugar shard
- 2 tbsps of toasted crushed pistachios
- 150g of caster sugar
Place the caster sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Do not stir sugar and just let it melt until all the sugar has dissolved. Take a sheet of baking paper and pour the melted sugar onto the sheet. Sprinkle the crushed pistachios over the top and leave to one side until the sugar has hardened. Break into shards. Use to decorate the mousse.
OBRIST YOLO APPASSIONATO >>>, Vin de Pays Suisse 2016, Gamay, Gamaret, Garanoir. This blend of wines from the sun-kissed territoir around Lake Geneva is of a beautiful dark red with ruby reflections. Its complex, intense bouquet is dominated by aromas of dark berries and supported by hints of roasted exotic wood, which further enhances the melting softness of this wine on the palate. A rich wine with a concentration of tannins, and a beautiful length. Best served at a temperature of 14 – 16 ° C.
If you try my recipes, please do not hesitate to let me know how you get on!