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In the Food for Love

Postino chef Stewart Beatty recommends three hot and heavy recipes for Valentine's Day.


Nutritionists will tell you that it’s hard to prove scientifically that certain foods have aphrodisiac properties. True, a nice glass or two of wine will certainly lower inhibitions, oysters contain zinc—which is believed to support reproductive health in general—and there is some evidence that chocolate triggers the release of the general feel-good hormone dopamine. But there just aren’t many scientific findings confirming that those heart-shaped boxes really have the power to put us in the mood.

But hey, candlelight dinners die hard, right?

So, for those who want to take it a step beyond Champagne and strawberries this year, Stewart Beatty, executive chef at the ultraromantic Postino restaurant in Lafayette, shared with us three easy recipes that contain some ingredients—in bold and italics—commonly thought to be aphrodisiacs. Break out that sheer lace apron.

recipe one
spinach salad with honey truffle dressing

In the Middle Ages, newlyweds were often given mead to drink on their honeymoon to sweeten their marriage. Here, it sweetens baby spinach. Whisk together 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1/2 egg yolk, juice from a quarter of a lemon, and a splash of water. While whisking, slowly drizzle in 1 cup of canola oil. Then drizzle in 1 1/2 tablespoons black truffle oil, followed by 1 tablespoon honey and salt and pepper. Dredge sliced portobello mushrooms in buttermilk and flour, then fry. Toss spinach with dressing, and top with mushrooms and shaved parmesan. Serves 6.

recipe two
banana–sweet potato mash

Roast a couple of bananas, in their peels, in the oven at 400 degrees until black on the outside. “If they explode a bit, they’re done,” says Beatty. Add the roasted banana to your favorite mashed sweet potato recipe for a sweet kick that no one can guess.

recipe three
pine nut piccata trout with roasted asparagus

Open the cavity of a whole boned trout, and season with salt and pepper. Flour the outside lightly and fry 2–3 minutes on each side. Drizzle asparagus spears with olive oil and roast in 400 degree oven about 8 minutes. For the sauce, sauté 1 clove of sliced garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon capers and then 1/4 cup white wine, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup chicken stock, and 3/4 cup heavy cream, and reduce till saucy. Serve the fish over wild rice, with the asparagus alongside the fish and the sauce spooned on top. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Serves 2–3.

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