5 of the best DIY date night recipes
Looking for a great way to impress your date without breaking the bank? Well, you’re in luck. Rebecca Warbis, author of the Date Night Cookbook, shares 5 of the best date night recipes you need to try
Nothing says you’ve made an effort for you date quite like a home-cooked meal. But, what if your culinary skills aren’t exactly Michelin-standard? Well, that’s where Rebecca Warbis comes in. Her book, Date Night Cookbook, is packed full of DIY date night recipes that don’t require hours slaving away in the kitchen but are still sure to impress. Take a look at five of her best date night recipe ideas and try it yourself with Rebecca’s recipe for the perfect romantic three course meal!
Dine out under the stars
When you’re getting to know someone, nothing beats a date with minimal distractions, and this idea definitely fits the bill! You just need your date, some great food that you prepared earlier and a backdrop of stars. There’s nothing more romantic than taking a moonlit stroll.
But what to cook?
You won’t want to carry too much with you on this date, so try one of the great one pot dishes from the Date Night Cookbook. A classic Spanish Paella is an ideal sharing dish that tastes equally good, hot or cold. Add a mix of seafood or artichokes and feta with a big squeeze of lemon to give your dish an edge.
DIY fine dining at home
A more traditional date night option is to treat the object of your affection to a candlelit dinner. With three courses, a great bottle of wine and a soundtrack of slow jazz, you can’t go far wrong!
But what to cook?
This is a great opportunity to go all out to impress with your culinary skills! Start with a beautiful Mediterranean salad; fry some peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese before drizzling with balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of rosemary and some pepper. Follow with a steak (cooked the way your date likes it) and finish with a caramel poached pear and a generous helping of mascarpone.
Barbecue in the sunshine
What’s not to love about a classic British barbecue – and getting your date involved is a sure-fire way of sparking some hilarious conversation. Take it outside to the garden, a local park or the beach, and be sure to bring a jumper so your date can continue well into the evening!
But what to cook?
Don’t worry; this is one of easiest date night recipes to try! Start with the classics; meat, pepper and mushroom on a kebab (halloumi is a great veggie alternative too.) Drizzle them with honey, lime and chilli flakes and stick them straight on the barbecue. Try a baked banana or a mango covered in yoghurt, honey and pecans for dessert; simply wrap your fruit in foil and bake until they’re hot and slightly soft – chocolate can also make a great topping!
Enjoy a cosy night in by setting up a mini home cinema. Choose some classic films and treat your date to a gourmet take on traditional cinema food.
But what to cook?
No film night would be complete without nachos with homemade guacamole. Simply blend together an avocado, chilli, salt, pepper and lime and you’re done. You can also serve a side of posh popcorn – sea salt and caramel is bound to go down well!
Picnic – inside or out
Whatever the weather, a picnic is always a great date night idea. If it’s raining just move it inside – spread out a blanket and enjoy a home-cooked feast.
Starter: Feta Salad
1 red onion
50 g pine nuts
200 g rocket
100 g feta cheese
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of pepper
- Slice the aubergine lengthways into ó-cm-wide strips
- Brush each slice with oil, then fry in a pan until browned and cooked through and leave to cool.
- Cut the onion into slices and gently fry in oil until soft, but not caramelised.
- In a dry frying pan (using no oil) toast the pine nuts until golden.
- Place several slices of aubergine on each plate.
- Scatter a handful of rocket leaves on top.
- Sprinkle the nuts and onion over the rocket.
- Top with crumbled feta.
- Mix together the balsamic vinegar, pepper and oil in a mug, and drizzle over the salad.
Main: Frittata (to share)
3–4 potatoes, preferably Maris Pipers
7–8 eggs, enough to cover the potato
salt and pepper
1 bag of spinach
- Spread oil all around the bottom of a frying pan to cover.
- Chop the potatoes into enough 2-cm cubes to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Slowly fry the cubes in the oil on a low-to medium heat and keep turning them until they are golden brown. Keep them moving with lots of oil to stop them burning.
- Slice on ions thinly and add to the pan. Cook fora further 5–10 minutes.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl, adding salt, pepper and the spinach, chopped finely.
- Pour the eggs in the pan and, on a low to medium heat, cook for about 15–20 minutes.
- Grill the top, until the eggs are cooked, and turn upside down on to a plate.
Desserts: Blueberry Muffins
270 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
200 g blueberries
120 g unsalted butter
250 g caster sugar
130 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon, halved
handful of sugar crystals
50 g white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4) and prepare a muffin tin by lining with paper cases.
- Grab a medium-sized bowl and sieve the flour and baking powder together. Add the blueberries and leave to the side.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract until a thick batter is formed.
- Then, a spoonful at a time, stir in the dry mixture and beat until smooth. Add a big squeeze of lemon.
- When mixed together, transfer 3 tbsp of mixture into each case then cook for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- When cool, sprinkle with sugar crystals and drizzle with melted white chocolate. Enjoy!
All recipes available in the Date Night Cookbook by Rebecca Warbis, available now. (2016, Summersdale)
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