Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.

-Alan D. Wolfelt

Nothing compliments the celebration of love quite like a spectacular meal. Enjoying a good meal with a special someone is so rewarding because it’s so simple…it’s so human. Just two animals doing what animals love to do: socializing and eating. When a memorable meal is paired with a memorable person, it creates an overall sense of satisfaction and calm. Being in love, like making a meal, can be tedious at times, however when all is said and done, your efforts are always worth it and the rewards far outweigh the torment and toil. That being said, Team VAO decided to take a different approach…we usually are the ones telling you where to go and what to order when dining out, but this time, we think you and your honey should just let the town bustle while you enjoy a romantic night in. Our Ashland friend, Marcella Sciotto at MarcellaRoses.com came up with a wonderfully romantic 3 course meal that she wanted us to share with you. Marcella is known for her old-fashioned hospitality, her INSANE dinner parties, and of course, her lil’ Boston Terrier, a true gentleman, who goes by Dr. Watson.

The following post is written by Marcella Sciotto, and can also be found at MarcellaRoses.com. Please visit her site for additional recipes, fun DIY crafts, and to just get inspired! Enjoy, friends! -Amanda Voltmer, VAO

 

ROSE

 

– 3 Course Valentine’s Dinner by Marcella Rose Sciotto –

I am the kind of girl who loves a holiday.  Give me a day to celebrate and I am already planning the meals and thinking of decorating the house.  Life is hard sometimes and the daily grind can be well …daily … and grinding.  When we have an excuse to make a day special or to just give it some attention, I think it’s a beautiful thing.  So a day to celebrate love?  Well how could you not just love that!  Even if you don’t have a partner, you can celebrate the love you have for your girlfriends, your family; hey why not celebrate the love you have for yourself!

I do understand the animosity toward the commercialization of this holiday and I get it that going out to dinner can be a pain when that is what everyone else in town is also doing.  So to avoid both, I give you the 3 Course Valentines Dinner.  This year why not give the gift of a home cooked meal?  Open a bottle of wine, lock the doors, and make this dinner for your lover.  The way to the heart, after all, is through the stomach they say!

What if you don’t have time, you say? What if you aren’t a great cook, you tell me?  Well, Marcella Rose has you covered.  This meal shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to make; ten minutes the night prior or in the morning for the dessert.  It’s elegant, easy, and is sure to impress your guest for the night.   So easy that you, yes you, you handsome devil, you could make this for your lady!  This recipe is for two but it’s simple to double if you want to invite your girlfriends over.

I start with a Butter Lettuce and Pink Citrus Salad to cleanse the pallet, serve this with a glass of bubbly or a glass of scotch or heck, both; it’s Valentine’s Day after all.  Then you move to a perfectly Roasted, Herb-rubbed Rack of Lamb with Mint Mashed Red Potatoes and Broiled Asparagus.  For dessert, slow down and enjoy a Tart Cherry and Salted Chocolate Personal Pie and maybe a few kisses too.

 

romantic dinner for 2

Citrus and bitter leaf salad with blood

 

Timing is everything, in love, in life and especially in cooking, so here is how to time this meal so you aren’t in the kitchen fretting, but staring across the table into the warm glow of candlelight in your lover’s eyes.

  • Make the dessert the night before, again this should take 10-15 minutes tops, then throw it in the fridge to chill over night. Right before you serve, drizzle with chocolate and Himalayan Salt.  (You can also make this in the morning, it needs maybe 4 hours in the fridge to set but really, it’s delicious even unset.)
  • 30 – 40 minutes before you want to eat, start the rest of the meal.
  • Mix up your herbs for the lamb and slather it on letting rest for a few minutes while your over pre-heats
  • Place the potatoes in cold water on high-heat on the stove
  • Throw in your lamb (see cooking directions below) and set your timer for 20 minutes.
  • Prep your salad, waiting to drizzle with citrus juice and olive oil right before serving
  • Prep your asparagus
  • Set your table and remember our lessons from Clueless, lighting is crucial
  • 5 minutes before your lamb is done, dress your salad
  • Turn off your potatoes, drain off the water and place them back into the pot with the butter, mint, salt and pepper, cover with a lid, this will keep them warm while you enjoy your salad
  • Pull out your lamb, tent with foil to rest for 15 minutes
  • Turn on broiler for your asparagus
  • Pour you and your guest(s) a glass and enjoy your first course salad
  • Once you are done with the first course, your lamb will have rested and be perfect for carving
  • Throw in your asparagus to broil while you prep the potatoes
  • With a masher, lightly smash your red potatoes incorporating the mint, salt and pepper and butter that have melted.
  • Remove asparagus, carve lamb and serve your second course
  • Your Personal Pies are in the fridge from last night. Whenever you are ready, take them out of the fridge, garnish with chocolate sauce and salt and serve

light pink hydrangeas to give a little love in these jeweled bottles

Tart Cherry and salted chocolate tart

Tart Cherry and salted chocolate tart

Tart Cherry and salted chocolate tart

Tart Cherry and salted chocolate tart the making of a perfectly light and pink salad

pink grapefruit and blood orange

Citrus and bitter leaf salad with blood Citrus and bitter leaf salad with blood

asparagus

broiled asparagus with sea salt and olive oil

broiled asparagus with sea salt and olive oil

Roasted herbed rack of lamb and mint mashed potatoes

roasted herbed rack of lamb

Roasted herbed rack of lamb and mint mashed potatoes

You will need:

Tart Cherry and Salted Chocolate Personal Pie

  • 1 container Nosa Tart Cherry yogurt – or 8 ounces of your favorite
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • Graham Cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 small ramekins
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Pink Himalayan Salt

Butter Lettuce and Pink Citrus Salad

  • 1 Head bitter lettuce
  • 2 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley
  • 1 Pink Grapefruit
  • 1 Blood Orange
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted, Herb-Rubbed Rack of Lamb

  • 1 “Frenched” rack of lamb*
  • 2 Tablespoons Rosemary
  • 3 Cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt

*”Frenching” refers to removing some of the meat off the end of the bones.  It’s fairly easy to find at your local grocery store or ask your butcher. Also can refer to a type of kiss I hope you get this Valentines Day.  

Mint Mashed Red Potatoes

  • 2 handfuls small red potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Broiled Asparagus

  • One Bunch asparagus
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Directions :

Tart Cherry and Salted Chocolate Personal Pie

  • Preheat over to 375
  • Place two tablespoons of butter in each dish
  • Microwave on high until melted
  • Scoop in about ¼ of a cup of graham cracker crumbs into each dish and mix well
  • Using your fingers, press the crumb butter mixture to the bottom and sides of dish creating a crust
  • Bake for 5-7 minutes until golden
  • While baking, mix together yogurt and mascarpone cheese
  • Once crusts are done, scoop half of the cheese/yogurt mixture into each dish
  • Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours
  • Once ready to serve, drizzle with chocolate sauce and salt

Butter Lettuce and Pink Citrus Salad

  • Place several leaves of butter lettuce on a plate with parsley
  • Cut grapefruit and orange into segments reserving the tops and arrange on lettuce
  • Using tops of citrus squeeze out the juice onto the assembled salad
  • Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, serve

Roasted, Herb-Rubbed Rack of Lamb

  • Preheat over to 450f
  • With a food processor, process the salt, rosemary, balsamic, olive oil and garlic until they’re incorporated and minced
  • Place the lamb in a roasting pan with the meat facing up and slather with herb mixture
  • You can allow this to “marinate” for about an hour while you prep the rest of your dinner for added flavor, or just pop in the oven
  • Roast the lamb for 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes, covering with tin foil
  • Slice the ribs off and serve.

Mint Mashed Red Potatoes

  • Fill pot with cold water and add potatoes
  • Bring to boil
  • Boil until tender when pierced with a fork (15 minutes)
  • Tear up mint leaves and add to strained potatoes with salt, pepper and butter

Broiled Asparagus

  • Snap off fibrous end of asparagus and arrange on a sheet pan
  • Drizzle with olive oil mix and place under broiler for 3-5 minutes until roasted
  • Remove from broiler toss with salt and pepper, serve

To Loving love!

Marcella Rose
MarcellaRoses.com

All photos courtesy of Marcella Sciotto
Post and recipes courtesy of Marcella Sciotto

A Lovely Three Course Valentine’s Day Dinner by Marcella R. Sciotto

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