Romantic Collection

Romantic recipes and celebratory meals guaranteed to impress your loved one.

Beef carpaccio with anchovy mayo & crispy garlic

This Italian classic has had a Spanish makeover with anchovy mayo and crisped garlic.

Marinated seared scallops

Quick and simple, yet sophisticated and utterly delicious, these scallops are the perfect way to start a dinner party. For hungry diners, add one or two extra scallops per person.

Blinis with salmon, capers & herbed cheese

These delicious starters can be made in minutes using ready-made blinis.

Chorizo in red wine

Baking slices of chorizo in red wine tenderises the chorizo and also gives them a lovely winey kick. The heady rich sauce is just gorgeous sopped up with a chunk of crusty gluten-free bread.

Hot camembert with cranberry sauce

Break the ice with this great dish to share. It looks impressive, but is so easy to make.

Charcuterie with pickled garlic & capers

This is the absolute cornerstone of tapas, a simple but vital centrepiece. It can be easily presented on a wooden board (olive wood is wonderful) at the centre of the table to share.

Pear salad with walnuts & roquefort

This light and refreshing pear salad, with its raspberry vinaigrette dressing, makes a wonderfully simple yet sophisticated salad for a dinner party or special meal.

Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with lemon mayo

These sophisticated bites make an irresistible nibble with aperitifs or as a more formal appetizer. You can prepare everything ahead, then simply pop them in the oven when your guests arrive.

Duck & pomegranate salad

The easiest way to remove the seeds from a pomegranate is to cut the fruit in half, hold it over a bowl and bash the back with a wooden spoon. The seeds will simply pop out.

Oysters with red onion, mint & cucumber vinaigrette

Oysters have a salty, satisfying flavour and add a touch of panache to any meal.

Lobster florentine

This easy casserole will be met with 'oohs' and 'aahs'. Serve as an appetiser with thin slices of toasted baguette.

Moules marinière

This classic French dish is often made with wine or cider. This recipe reduces the quantities used, thereby losing calories without compromising on taste. It looks impressive, but it is so simple to put together.

Risotto alla sbirraglia (venetian chicken risotto)

This risotto with chicken is a typically Venetian risotto, very wet and runny, but also very rich and filling. Make sure the chicken stock is very flavoursome to ensure that the finished risotto tastes properly rich. Although traditionally the risotto is served without any added colour, you could stir a bit of parsley into the finished dish if you feel it needs a touch of green.

Oven-baked prawn & asparagus risotto

Everyone loves a creamy risotto, and this oven-baked method is very simple to cook.

Spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams)

Please do make sure the vongole are as clean as possible before you cook them to avoid an unpleasant muddy taste or a gritty sensation under your teeth. Rinse them in several changes of clean, fresh water until the water runs clear.

Pasta alla carbonara (pasta with carbonara sauce)

This classic pasta dish is traditionally served with either spaghetti or bucatini. It relies on the flavour of the pancetta and plenty of freshly ground black pepper for the best results.

Gnocchi di zucca con burro e salvia (pumpkin gnocchi with butter & sage)

These pumpkin gnocchi taste sweet and delicious and look gorgeous with their deep orange colour. They are especially delectable when served with sage butter.

Tuna niçoise on a plank

In this new take on the classic recipe from Nice, all the star ingredients go on the plank, then they are served over fresh greens. Enjoy with a glass of chilled rosé and a crusty baguette.

Pecan-crusted salmon on spinach

This is a wonderful dish, perfect for a party as you can prepare the salmon in advance and pop it into the oven when needed; for simplicity, serve with a green salad instead of spinach. The recipe works well with other fish such as halibut, tilapia and cod.

Moroccan baked fish

A spice caravan of flavour infuses this dish as it bakes. Serve it with a flatbread, such as pita or naan, warmed in the oven, or couscous to soak up all the juices.

Roasted monkfish romesco

Serve this dish with crusty bread to mop up all the delicious juices. Colourful Romesco, a classic sauce from Catalonia, also functions as a vegetable in this dish.

Bouillabaisse

A classic French stew that is a feast for seafood lovers.

Mallorcan slow-roasted lamb shoulder

This classic dish is normally made using milk-fed baby lambs. Most butchered lambs are around a year of age and on a solid diet, making their meat darker and richer. Milk-fed lamb is therefore hard to find. This recipe calls for half a lamb shoulder, making it the perfect size to bring to the table and tear apart.

Quail with pomegranate

Quail with a Middle Eastern influence, coated in five-spice powder and finished in piquant pomegranate molasses and seeds.

Grilled top rump with aïoli

Aïoli, a rich and flavoursome garlic mayonnaise from Provence, is the perfect partner for steak.

Middle eastern spice–rubbed lamb chops

Using a dry spice rub is the easiest way to impart full flavour to a piece of meat. Here a Middle Eastern spice mix is used with lamb, but it would work well with other meats or poultry, too. Serve with a couscous salad and a plate of sliced tomatoes drenched in olive oil and vinegar.

Venison with port, juniper & cinnamon with celeriac purée

Melt-in-the-mouth venison steak is never better than when complemented with port.

Chocolate waves with dark chocolate mousse

A chocolate mille-feuille that, instead of layers of puff pastry, uses fine waves of marbled chocolate to sandwich the rich and creamy mousse.

Chocolate lava cake

The best lava cake recipe you will find. Serve with pistachio ice cream for a bit of Mediterranean flair.

Bitter chocolate tart with toasted hazelnut crust

This is a deliciously smooth, plain chocolate tart that can be served warm or cold.

Tiramisù alle pere (tiramisu with pears)

A fruity variation on the Italian specialty that has become one of the world’s favourite desserts. If you prefer, you can make it in a larger dish to share.

Raspberry genoese

This is the classic whisked sponge cake, and although the method sounds tricky, it’s actually very simple. To enjoy it at its best, serve it on the day you make it.

Strawberry & lemon mini soufflés

These little soufflés are intense in flavour and amazingly light.

Orange crêpes with pears & grapes

The pears should be ripe but still firm, as if they’re too soft they’ll turn mushy and start to fall apart in the sauce. Any variety of pear can be used.

Roasted peaches with ricotta, pistachios & honey

A simple dessert that’s easy to make but stylish enough to serve for a special lunch or dinner party. Soft amaretti would make a good accompaniment.

Jewelled persian yoghurt parfaits

This elegant, healthy dessert is very beautiful to look at, with a sensational taste that matches. Pomegranate seeds can be frozen and kept for several months in the freezer; they can be used from frozen in this dessert.

Strawberry meringue layer cake

This is a simple cake to make but absolutely stunning and incredibly delicious.

Passion fruit sorbet

Many large supermarkets now carry frozen tropical fruit pulp, which makes it easy to get the flavour of Mexico in a frozen treat. Make a simple syrup of water and sugar, then blend in the frozen pulp and flavourings and freeze in an ice cream maker. Passion fruit, known as parcha in Mexico, are small, seedy fruits with a sweet-tart flavour.

Pomegranate & lychee granita

A granita is similar to a sorbet, but while a sorbet has a smooth, silky texture, a granita is rougher and formed of large ice crystals made by breaking up the frozen mixture with a fork. Two contrasting coloured granitas made with different fruits make a pretty and eye-catching dessert when layered in glasses.

Fig & nectarine salad

Tender figs and juicy nectarines make a fabulous combination in this cinnamony, decadent, rum-spiked salad.

Rich chocolate truffles

These truffles are delicious at the end of a meal or can be boxed, wrapped and given as a delightful gift.

Mexican wedding cookies

Dusted with icing sugar, these festive cookies are tender, buttery and delicious. Grind the almonds in a food processor or a nut grinder before using.

Madeleine cookies

You will need a traditional madeleine tray with seashell-shape indentations for these pretty treats.

Italian fig cookies

The fig and raisin filling of these little cookies is very sweet and luscious.

Amaretti

These wonderful Italian cookies are great with coffee, or use them as a base to make Italian-style desserts.

Lavender & honey cupcakes

The marriage of lavender and honey is truly wonderful. If you can find lavender honey, it will enhance the flavour even more.

Strawberry tart

Simple and easy to prepare, a seasonal fruit tart looks and tastes wonderful. Leftover pastry can be made into jam tarts, which are surprisingly popular with young-at-heart adults and children alike.

Red fruits slushy

A food processor or liquidiser with a powerful motor is needed to crush ice, so if you’re unsure whether your machine is strong enough, break up the ice cubes first by placing them in a plastic bag and hitting them with a rolling pin or hammer. If you can’t get fresh summer fruits, buy a package of mixed frozen berries and currants and blend them with the fruit juices while they are still solid, omitting the ice cubes.

Almond & raspberry friands

Try using different oval or rectangular-shaped friand pans. They are available from speciality cookware shops. If you can't find a friand pan, a regular muffin tin works fine.

Raspberry cloud

This delicious light mousse is perfect after a rich meal.

Calves’ liver with baby onions, serrano & sweet sherry

This Spanish and much finer version of the classic liver with bacon and onions is enriched with sweet sherry, which makes it the most delicious way to serve calve's liver.

Smoked salmon tagliatelle

A deliciously simple and festive pasta dish.

Couscous with spicy fish

Couscous is often thought of as a grain, but it is in fact a tiny pasta. It's often used in northern Africa as a foil to spicy dishes.

Beef salad with thai basil

Thinly sliced marinated beef makes a great addition to this spicy and fragrant tomato and herb salad.

Insalata di frutti di mare (seafood salad)

This classic seafood salad is good served just warm, or it can be made a few hours ahead and served cold. Vary the choice of seafood according to personal taste.

Salmon & vegetable salad in a cucumber cup

These pretty, light, refreshing salads served wrapped in a slice of cucumber are stunning. They make a lovely starter for a posh dinner party or are fun to make with kids and so pretty they won't be able to resist them.

Celeriac truffle gratin

This tasty but light dish is made all the more special when drizzled with a little truffle oil. Celeriac brings an unusual freshness of flavour to the gratin, cutting through the richness of the cream.

Green leaf salad with edible flowers

Edible flowers make a stunning and delicious addition to salads. They are particularly suitable for meals for special occasions.

Fig & prosciutto salad

Sweet, juicy figs and salty, wafer-thin slices of prosciutto are a classic combination – and nowhere better than in this simple, luscious salad.

Chicken roasted with apricots

This classic Middle Eastern dish is known as 'djedjad' in Arabic. It is a wonderfully aromatic way to cook chicken, delicately scented, and very elegant.

Baked scallops en coquille

Large, clean scallop shells – available at better delicatessens – make perfect ‘plates’ for this appetiser or first course.

Chicken livers with pedro ximénez & iberico ham

Pedro Ximénez is a really thick, syrupy sweet sherry. Chicken livers are balanced perfectly by this sweetness and this finished dish is all pulled together by the crisp saltiness of the Iberico ham (dry-cured Spanish ham).

Italian risotto with scallops

This exquisite risotto uses a courgette purée to add a delicate flavour that perfectly complements the scallops.

Sea bass in salt crust

This dramatic dish is a very special way to serve fresh fish. The crust is very thick, and it must be cracked open like a shell to reveal the perfectly cooked white fish within. It is important to protect the fish from becoming too salty – the skin of the fish will protect it all over, but use foil or waxed parchment paper along the belly slit to prevent the salt from seeping inside the fish. Use a large fish if you're cooking for a dinner party or special family meal or if there are just two of you, you can use a smaller fish and cook for a slightly shorter time.

Roast pork with fennel & beans

Slow-roasted pork belly with crisp crackling skin and meat that melts in your mouth has to be one of life’s little food gifts, but paired with fennel it is simply divine.

Tuna sashimi salad

Delicate slices of raw tuna are delicious served on top of this Japanese-inspired salad, which is redolent of Asian flavours.

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