A Simple, Elegant & Romantic Menu for Valentine’s Day - Firefly Books Blog

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A Simple, Elegant & Romantic Menu for Valentine’s Day

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A Simple, Elegant & Romantic Menu for Valentine’s Day


Love is on our minds this #FoodieFriday, as its less than one week until Valentine’s Day.

While a lot of people are less than fond of this Hallmark holiday, we think that any chance to share delicious food with our loved ones is a great day, and we’ve pulled together a romantic menu just for the occasion.

With a focus on oysters — which some say is the most romantic food of all — plus the fresh flavours of arugula and strawberries, this menu is perfect to share with your special someone, or you can increase the quantities for a fun Galentine’s Day dinner.

To get you started, we turned to World Champion oyster shucker — Snoop Dogg called him the “Usain Bolt of oyster shucking” — and author of The Oyster Companion, Patrick McMurray for a lesson in which oysters are best for cooking.

For cooking or frying, Patrick recommends using plump, large, meaty oysters in one of three varieties.

  1. Atlantic East oysters, which are light in flavour, ranging from neutral to salty, and work well with sauces and for cooking,
  2. Pacific oysters, which are fat, meaty, and plump with a stronger flavour profile, and
  3. Galway oysters, which have a very toothsome and meaty texture and were used as the main ingredient in the Original Oyster Stout of the early 1800s in London. Prepare them with garlic, butter, and breadcrumbs.

While Patrick likes his oysters “à la Vie en Rose”, raw with a little champagne poured over them, there are plenty of ways to prepare this delectable delicacy, four of which made it onto our Valentine’s Day menu.

Bon appétit!


STARTER: Arugula & Parmesan Salad (from Vegetable Basics)

What you need:
250g arugula
100g parmesan cheese
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil

How to make it:
1. Wash the arugula leaves and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to shave the parmesan cheese.
3. Whisk the vinegar and oil together in a small bowl.
4. Arrange the arugula and parmesan shavings on a serving plate and drizzle the dressing over.

Serves 4.


MAIN: Oysters Four Ways (from Best of the Simple Things)

Herbed Butter Oysters

What you need:
6 oysters
A handful fresh herb leaves (such as flat-leaf parsley, chives and tarragon)
1 garlic clove
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ tsp finely grated lemon zest
Paprika to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges to serve

How to make it:

1. Pulse herbs and garlic in a food processor until well combined. Add butter and lemon zest, and process until smooth. Season with paprika, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Spoon a tsp of the butter mixture onto each oyster and grill for 1-2 mins on a medium grill.
3. Remove from heat and serve with lemon wedges.


Wasabi Oysters

What you need:
6 oysters
1 tsp wasabi paste
4 tbsp of soya or Japanese mayonnaise
1 tsp of mirin or white wine vinegar
Lemon wedges to serve

How to make it:
1. Combine wasabi paste, mayonnaise, and mirin, and mix to a smooth paste.
2. Spoon mixture on top of each oyster and place under a grill on medium heat for 1-2 mins or until lightly golden.
3. Remove from heat and serve with lemon wedges.


Dill Salsa Oysters

What you need:
6 oysters
50ml distilled vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
2 tsp sliced chives
2 tbsp chopped dill, plus fronds for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
5 tbsp
1 tbsp lemon zest
Lemon wedges to serve

How to make it:
1. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the shallots and set to cool.
2. Strain the shallots and mix the syrup with the cucumber, chives, dill,
andyogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the yogurt onto each oyster.
3. Place the oysters under a grill on medium heat for 1-2 mins.
4. Serve with a garnish of dill fronds, lemon zest, and lemon wedges.


Pomegranate Mignonette Oysters

What you need:
6 oysters
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp pomegranate juice
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
Pinch of salt
Lemon wedges to serve

How to make it:
1. Combine all ingredients and spoon onto oysters.
2. Place oysters
undergrill for 1 min on a medium heat to warm through.
3. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 4.


DESSERT: Strawberries with Matcha Jelly (from Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties)

What you need:
8 large strawberries
3 sheets gelatin
cup cold water
2 tbsp Matcha powder
Wasabi paste, to taste

How to make it:
1. Slice each strawberry in half and cut a piece off the rounded side of each half so the pieces are flat on both sides. Set aside on a serving dish.
2. Place the sheets of gelatin in cold water to soak. Set aside.
3. Heat the water to 150°F and add the Matcha powder. Whisk well. Let stand until the foam subsides.
4. Wring the excess moisture from the gelatine sheets. Place the sheets in the warm tea mixture. Whisk until the gelatin dissolves. Cool in an ice bath until the mixture thickens a little.
5. Place a little wasabi in the centre of each strawberry half, and then quickly cover with a teaspoonful of Matcha jelly. If the Matcha jelly hardens too fast, heat it over a small pan of boiling water to obtain the right consistency.
6. Refrigerate uncovered for 2 or 3 hours before serving.



Get the books:

 The Oyster Companion

 Vegetable Basics

 Best of the Simple Things

 Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

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