Although Valentine’s Day is just a 24-hour period, we’re fans of embracing the loving spirit throughout February. One amazing way to show your love all month: cooking together.
While you can now pretty much cook anything (thank you, supermarkets?) embrace the sensual, seasonal eats that line your local co-op shelves or farmers market tables.
1. Toasted Garlic-Butter Ravioli with Spinach via Delish
Seasonal food spotlight: Spinach
If you live in some areas of the midwest—Kansas— or on the west coast—San Francisco—you could buy fresh, local spinach.
The following recipe is simple and flavor-rich. A perfect meal to make for your lover after work.
If you don’t live in an area that has fresh spinach, consider going to your local co-op and subbing another local green for spinach. Still no luck? Buy spinach delivered from the shortest distance.
16–18 oz. cheese ravioli
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
5 oz. baby spinach
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
Bring a 12″ sauté pan of water to a boil. Season with salt and prepare a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Cook pasta to al dente, remove ravioli.
Place pasta on a sheet pan, set to medium heat. Add olive oil, butter and garlic; sauté until butter begins to bubble—about one minute. Add red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper—stir with a rubber spatula.
Add half the ravioli and stir gently until well coated; continue. Flip ravioli gently to prevent sticking, cook until golden brown—about five minutes. Toss in spinach and garnish with parsley and grated cheese. Serve immediately.
2. Tofu and Broccoli Quiche via Whole Foods Market
Seasonal food spotlight: Broccoli, onion and mushroom
If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, the produce in this meal is in season. Don’t live in Florida? Mushrooms are available in Kansas and San Francisco; broccoli is in season in San Francisco; and New York state typically has local onion available via storage.
Although quiche doesn’t sound like a romantic meal, we like it because it’s light—hint—and flavorful.
Serves 6—perfect for morning-after leftovers
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
pinch fine sea salt
1 tablespoon light sesame oil, plus more for the pan
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large broccoli crown, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets (about 3 cups total)
1/4 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 1/2 (16-ounce) container firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon white miso or umeboshi paste
1 1/2 tablespoon tamari
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil an 9-inch pie plate. Bring one cup water to boil in a small saucepan—stir in bulgur and salt. Cover, lower heat and simmer until water is absorbed and bulgur is tender—12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then press onto bottom and partway up sides of the prepared pie plate.
Bake until slightly dried—about 12 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli, onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender—about 10 minutes.
Combine tofu, tahini, tamari and miso in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, add vegetables and toss to combine.
3. Dark Chocolate Orange Cake, My Recipes
Seasonal food spotlight: Orange
Sorry, strawberries. Although strawberries are in season in Florida, we included a fruit that’s available in at least two areas (San Francisco and Florida) this time of year: the orange.
We like this recipe because it’s somewhat easy—emphasis on somewhat—and looks like it tastes amazing. A perfect, sweet end to an evening of great food.
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
1 tablespoon hot water
Dash of salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Powdered sugar (optional)
Orange rind strips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F and coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper. Wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil.
Place 3/4 cup sugar and eggs in a bowl and beat with a mixer at high speed—seven minutes.
Combine cornstarch and cocoa in a small bowl.
Place juice, liqueur, water, salt, and chocolate in a small glass bowl—microwave at high for one minute or until almost melted—stir every 20 seconds until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and whisk until smooth.
Gently stir one-fourth of egg mixture into chocolate mixture and gently fold it into the remaining egg mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan and place pan in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan—add hot water to larger pan to a depth of one inch.
Bake at 350º F for 20 minutes or until top is set. Remove cake pan from water and cool five minutes on a wire rack.
Loosen cake from sides of the pan using a narrow metal spatula—cool to room temperature.
Cover and chill at least four hours or overnight. Garnish with powdered sugar and rind just before serving, if desired.
If none of the above seasonal eats sound good, simply do an Internet search for “Seasonal produce in February Your City and State.” You may be surprised with what you discover!
If you make any of the recipes we listed here in February, let us know what you think on our Facebook page.
Related on EcoSalon
10 Aphrodisiacs to Use in Your Home-Cooked Valentine’s Day Meal
Valentine’s Day Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Fondue
50 Pickup Lines for Foodies that Will Make You LOL