This date night comes inspired by Michael Chiarello‘s cookbook that I got at the Book & Bar in Portsmouth, NJ (aka heaven on earth). I only hope I posted this in time for all you lovebirds out there trying to decide what to do this weekend! I decided on Warm Peach and Prosciutto salad, Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower, and Steak and Pesto Pinwheels. The results were of mixed success and I was hesitant to share the recipes, but it’s all pretty healthy and may inspire someone to make improvements, so here it is!
The cauliflower takes the longest, so start prepping that first. For two people, half a head of cauliflower broken into large florets is more than enough. Boil the cauliflower until slightly softened (about 4 minutes), and then slice into 1/4 inch sliced and layer in a buttered baking dish/pie plate. Meanwhile, eat some bread and Humbolt Fog cheese (while it’s still legal… stupid FDA) to stave off hunger.
Next, prep the pesto for the steak. You can use any recipe you want, but we more or less used the recipe from my blog.
Then, the salad. Though my boyfriend wasn’t a fan of the warm peaches, I loooooved this dish.
Arrange very high quality prosciutto (if you get it directly from the deli counter at Wegmans, it’s not very expensive!) on a small plate. It is particularly romantic if the plates are brand new from Home Goods and feature the label from one of my boyfriend’s favorite wines, in this case, Chateauneuf du Pape. (To clarify, that wine– not trying to spell it again- is one of my boyfriend’s favorites. It is not a favorite of one of my [multiple] boyfriends. The placement of that apostrophe is very important.)
Next, slice 2 peaches into 8 slices. You can remove the peel if you feel so inclined. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan and wait for it to brown slightly. Add sage, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and the peaches, and toss over heat for about a minute. Take off the heat, add 2 large handfuls of arugula, and toss to wilt. Plate over the prosciutto and savor quickly before prepping the steak!
Chiarello’s steak recipe calls for a high-quality steak like sirloin sliced envelope-style and pounded thin. Since I have no money, I bought very thin sliced top round from Wegman’s. It is not nearly as tender, but at 1/4 inch thick, it doesn’t make that much of a difference. Season both sides of the steak and spread a very thin layer pesto on one side (except for one edge). Roll up the steak towards the un-pesto-ed edge. Tie with butcher twine.
My boyfriend thought the pesto made the steak “gritty,” but I thought it was pretty good. Don’t know if I’d make it again though. The cauliflower was decent, due to the cheese, but I just can’t manage to make myself like cauliflower. So make these recipes at your own risk– if they sound good to you, go for it!!