There’s no need to book a fancy restaurant, with an expensive prix-fixe menu, for Valentine’s Day. Cooking at home can be a far more joyous way to celebrate with your significant other, or, if you’re unattached, with friends. Particularly if you don’t try to bend over backwards with something like boeuf bourguignon, you can celebrate the holiday by hanging out at home, cooking with your honey, and ending the night on the couch. And don’t forget to mix up one of our festive Valentine’s Day cocktails. It’s the perfect plan. Here’s a three-course meal to get you started.
Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad to Start
Your special someone will be impressed when you whip out your mandoline to shave Brussels sprouts (without slicing off your fingers!). Toss the Brussels sprouts with parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, and a simple vinaigrette (we typically use a 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio with a spoon of mustard and minced garlic thrown in there). Extra points if you add a little bacon. Plus, get our best tips on how to use your mandoline.
A Lightened-Up Pasta Entree
Pasta is always a nice dish to make with a partner—it’s comforting and quick and infinitely adaptable. But a big bowl of pasta can weigh you down, which is…not always what you’re going for on Valentine’s Day. So whip out your spiralizer (again, you’ll get kitchen points here) to make noodles out of zucchini, then toss it with your favorite tomato sauce and a bit of cheese. We like Marcella Hazan’s simple tomato sauce (use your favorite canned tomatoes!), or try OXO Product Manager Clementine’s back pocket tomato sauce recipe. You’ll practically float on towards dessert.
An Impressive Apple Tart for Dessert
Keep it simple yet swoon-worthy with a French apple tart for dessert. Once again, here’s a chance to use your mandoline, this time to thinly slice apples over a pie crust (feel free to use store bought dough if you don’t have time to make it from scratch). We like slicing Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp apples, or anything else on the tart end of the apple spectrum. Give them a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar then fan them out all pretty on the pie crust. Pop the tart into the oven at 425°F for 30 minutes and voila—a simple yet satisfying three-course meal.