Ina Garten's Valentine's Day Menu Is Golden
No one whips up holiday menus like Ina Garten—whether it's a decadent Thanksgiving or a simple Labor Day cookout, she always knows exactly what flavors are best suited for any celebration. So it's no surprise that her Valentine's Day menu is just as romantic and indulgent as the day itself.
"You don't need a holiday to bake this Raspberry Cheesecake, but I guarantee that you'll make your Valentine feel really special if you make it on Monday!," Garten wrote on Instagram. The cheesecake recipe originally appeared in Garten's 2002 cookbook Barefoot Contessa Family Style (buy it: $18, Amazon), so devoted fans were quick to chime in with their experiences with the rich dessert recipe. "Make it Sunday," one person advised. "It's even better the days after! 🙌"
And that glamorous cheesecake is just the finale of the meal—here's what's on the full menu for Ina and Jeffrey this Valentine's Day:
- Duke's Cosmopolitan: You just need five simple ingredients to make four of these refreshing beverages. Serve up the citrusy cranberry mixture in martini glasses for a festive start to the night.
- Arugula with Parmesan: An easy vinaigrette of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper dresses this simple mixture of spicy arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.
- Rack of Lamb: This recipe can serve as many as six, but you could likely use one rack of lamb instead of two for a more intimate meal. Make sure to buy it frenched—with the fat and meat removed from the bones—or ask your butcher to french it for you for an elegant presentation.
- Orzo with Roasted Vegetables: Eggplant, bell pepper, onion and lots of salty feta bring flavor to this light and herbaceous side dish.
- Raspberry Cheesecake: This classic cheesecake is tinged with vanilla and lemon flavor and topped with a festive raspberry and jelly mixture.
If you want to keep things simple on this weekday holiday, stick with Ina's cosmo, arugula salad and orzo—those are all beginner recipes, according to Garten, so you know they'll be simple and delicious. But the rack of lamb and cheesecake are still just at the intermediate difficulty level, so they're still within reach on a Monday night, especially if you make the cheesecake ahead on Sunday. (For a simpler dinner for two that you can make without breaking a sweat, turn to recipes like our 25-minute Lobster Ravioli or 20-minute Chicken Saltimbocca.)
No matter what you choose for your V-Day meal, Ina's pink cosmo is a celebratory drink worthy of any valentine, though you could swap in Ina's Pomegranate Gimlet for another vibrant choice.