‘Food and love are both forms of sensuality and Valentine enthusiasts may see a tasty night in as part of the sensual route to the bedroom. Don’t forget that as well as the palette, there is also sound, smell and vision.
Candlelight, romantic melody and aromatic scent all add to the pea-fect ambience of the night, while the brilliant green of each dish assaults your vision. If you can let yourselves merge with the richness of gourmet sensuality you can actually imbibe romance.’
Anne Hooper – Sex therapist and international best-selling author
It’s time to get all mushy on Valentine’s Day and prepare your loved one a fantastic candlelit dinner. We’re not the first to recognise peas as an aphrodisiac. The Perfumed Garden by Sheikh Nefzaoui a 16th century treatise on the art of love states that peas are an effective food to get you in the mood.
TV chef and woman for all seasons Rachel Green thinks peas are round and sexy, just like her; below she has included a few recipe ideas for your romantic night in together.
Chilled Pea Vichyssoise
400g frozen petit pois
1 leek roughly sliced, washed to remove all grit
2 spring onions
1litre good vegetable stock
280ml double cream
75ml crème fraiche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Optional garnish: 4 slices prosciutto roughly chopped Chopped chives
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add spring onion and leek, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add petit pois and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for approximately 5 minutes. Add the cream and pour the soup into a blender and process until smooth. Adjust seasoning. Chill for 2-3 hours.
To serve: ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a good dollop of crème fraiche.
Optional: scatter over the chopped prosciutto ham and garnish with chopped chives.
Pea & Seafood Brown Rice Paella with Saffron
300g frozen garden peas
1 tbsp olive oil
½ fennel, sliced thinly
1 leek, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 courgette, diced
600g mixed fish (e.g.: squid, haddock, monkfish, hake) 10 king prawns
4 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped
300g brown rice
½ tbsp paprika
A few strands of saffron soaked in 50ml warm water
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley
750 ml vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic, fennel and leek and fry gently for 1 minute. Sprinkle in the paprika add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the rice, saffron liquid, stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 25 mins until the rice is nearly cooked then add the fish and diced courgette stirring into the rice and cooking for three minutes then add the peas, mussels. Tiger prawns, half of the parsley and a little more stock if necessary. Bubble gently until the liquid has been absorbed and all the fish is cooked. Serve with wedges of lemon and black pepper and garnish with the remaining parsley.
Pea Ice Cream
Good quality vanilla ice-cream, drizzled with mint flavour honey (or honey with fresh mint chopped through it), and topped with blanched peas refreshed in cold water.
You can serve the above with a glass of pea champagne and why not finish off your romantic evening with an aromatherapy pea massage