So you have finally done it. Plucked up the courage and asked that really awesome girl on a date. Even better, she said yes! Congratulations. So now what, you could take her to the cinema, go bowling, the world is your oyster. All that stuff is great and I am sure you will have fun, but everyone knows food is the road to the heart so get out there and cook for her!
Now, as a professional chef this is one of my favourite first date options. And, yes it is pretty easy for me, but the reason it is easy is because once you take the time to learn a few basic skills it really is simple to impress in the kitchen.
Rule number one don’t take on too much too soon.
Pick something simple and do it well and you are bound to impress. Food makes people smile and it doesn’t have to be complicated and fancy.
So in light of the recent heatwave, (which may or may not have left us never to return) lets talk salads. I’m not talking a few bland leaves strewn across the plate as an after thought, thanks to chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi the humble salad is experiencing a revolution and I think a few simple tips can help to impress any girl you like.
Step 1. Start with your washed salad in a bowl separate to the one you want to serve it in.
Step 2. Chuck some lovely fresh herbs into the mix, think outside the box dill, mint, tarragon, all work really well.
Step 3. Next season the leaves with salt and pepper don’t skip this step it makes the world of difference I promise.
Step 4. Finally the dressing, you can make something simple by sticking to the basic rule of three parts oil to one part vinegar.
A simple recipe is 30mls veg oil, 10mls olive oil, 10mls red wine vinegar and 10mls sherry vinegar and if you have one blend these up with a hand blender if not a fork will do it. Dress your salad right before serving and there you have it, the basics of making a beautiful salad.
Now you know the basics you can start to experiment, how about trying some beetroot, goats cheese (makes sure this is room temp) and pine nuts mixed through your salad.
Nic is lending The Gay Agenda her skills to write a regular column. If you would like to see a particular food or recipe covered or need her expert help with your food woes email in to firstname.lastname@example.org