You don’t need a dinner reservation to make Valentine’s Day extra special. Stay home and make these romantic recipes. (Note: scallops, asparagus, basil, roses, chocolate, and chiles are all considered aphrodisiacs. For more on passion-inducing foods, read this from Food & Wine.)
Scallops Over Asparagus Spears
(Recipe by herbalist student Savannah Hattan)
8 to 10 large scallops
1 pound asparagus spears
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 sprig fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
sea salt and pepper
Pat scallops dry with a towel and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add asparagus spears and sauté 5 to 6 minutes, until nearly tender. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and cook through, about 1 minute. Toss with lemon juice and basil, remove from heat and keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place scallops in the pan. Sear 2 to 3 minutes, until caramelized. Flip and sear the remaining side 1 to 2 minutes, until almost firm. Place scallops atop asparagus, garnish with pine nuts, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Rose Petal Sugar Cookies
(Recipe provided by herbalist Shelley Torgove, owner of Artemisia & Rue)
2 ½ cups organic unbleached Flour
½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup crushed rose petals
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 cup organic butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 organic eggs
1 tablespoons rose water
extra rose petals
Preheat oven to 300°. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and rose petals. Mix sugars and butter in separate bowl. Add vanilla, eggs, and rose water to the sugar and butter mixture. Mix dry ingredients into wet, but do not over mix. Form 1-inch balls on a prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle with extra rose petals. Bake 18 to 20 minutes. Place on a cool surface immediately after baking. Serve and enjoy.
Bonus: Pair the cookies with mugs of hottie chocolate.
—Image via Shutterstock