Well there goes another Valentine’s Day. It’s a day so fraught with anxiety, longing and disappointment for so many that I’m not sure it’s really worth all the angst. Call me a cynic. Last year I got all caught up in the whirlwind of excitement and almost had a breakdown! Not so this year. Anyway, what can you surprise your loved one with for the 29th time? Mr. B gifted me something quite unique and unexpected, but that’s for another day. I decided to give my time and care to a super special meal for us, with meat as a treat for Mr.B, since we’ve gone ‘vegaquarian’ since new year.
I chose Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, since I find the recipes tricky and time-consuming – surely that’s proof enough of my love.
To start, I made a salad of watercress, tarragon, blood orange, pomegranate and pistachios – not strictly Ottolenghi, as I could find some but not all of the ingredients for two salads, so I combined them with a dash of daring and a pinch of panic. Not too bad, lovely and fresh, and pretty on the plate.
For the main course it was the epic Beef meatballs with broad beans and lemon. When I say epic, I mean it. It took about six hours start to finish, and I wish I could say I was blown away by the intensely amazing flavours, but I can’t. It was pleasant and quite tasty, but not six hours tasty! If I ever make it again I think the addition of preserved lemon or something might increase the wow factor.
We finished with the luscious Set yogurt pudding with poached peaches. I won hearts with this dish this last year, and it can be made the night before to minimize stress on the day. The peaches were fragrant and juicy, and the perfect foil for the smooth creaminess of the pudding. The poaching liquid is the nectar of the gods!
After an entire day in the kitchen yesterday, I’ll be cooking up ready made ravioli and tomato sauce tonight! I think I have Valentine’s fatigue – anyone else?