Classic steak dinners are far from the only show in town when it comes to cooking an impressive Valentine's Day dinner at home. In fact, I've pulled together a meat-free menu for two I'm really excited about and I'm certain my husband will adore. The name of the game is fast and fancy, with a generous dose of veggies and a decadent chocolate dessert. What else could you want?
Since Valentine's Day falls in the middle of the week, this veggie-heavy menu is a breeze to pull together without any fuss and it's filled with plenty of special touches to give your dinner some fancy flair. It's studded with make-ahead moments so you can get a head start, and trimmed down for two so you're not left with tons of leftovers.
- Clover Club Cocktail
- Flaky Garlic Bread Pinwheels
- Herbed Gnocchi and Mushrooms
- Radicchio Salad with Green Olives & Parmesan
- The Easiest Chocolate Pudding Cakes
A Drink + Appetizer
It's probably not often that you start a mid-week dinner at home with a cocktail and appetizers, and that's just part of what makes tonight's dinner extra special.
Clover Club Cocktail: This pale-pink beauty was made for a special occasion like Valentine's Day. A mix of raspberry and lemon lend this gin-based cocktail a subtly sweet tang, while an egg white creates a frothy blanket over top. Get a head start by making the raspberry syrup in advance.
Flaky Garlic Bread Pinwheels: These roll-ups are really just garlic bread in pinwheel form, and that's exactly what makes them perfect. The recipe calls for fresh parsley, but you could certainly swap in basil which is also used in the gnocchi. After prepping the puff pastry I recommend baking just the amount you'll eat and freezing the rest — your future self will thank you.
Simple touches (like using bold, fresh flavors and an array of textures) are what make this vegetarian dinner feel more special than your usual mid-week meal.
Herbed Gnocchi and Mushrooms: With mushrooms and pillowy gnocchi, this pasta for two is just the right balance of hearty and comforting, while a mess of fresh herbs, lemon, and white wine sauce keep it light and bright.
Radicchio Salad with Green Olives & Parmesan: With just a handful of ingredients (most of them from the pantry) this jewel-toned salad couldn't be easier to pull together, and swapping your regular greens for radicchio adds a fun touch.
This menu carries the fast-and-fancy theme all the way through dessert, which is classic and full-on chocolate.
The Easiest Chocolate Pudding Cakes: When you plunge your spoon through the delicate, crackly crust of the ramekin, you're met with a warm, velvety pudding at the center. While the recipe makes four servings, it's quite easy to scale it down for two.