Romantic Dinner Recipe

Enjoy a romantic dinner on a summer evening. This two course menu is the perfect mixture of textures and flavours for a romantic meal with family, friends and loved ones. Thank you Mimi. 
Simple butternut squash risotto served with sautéed spinach, shallots and garlic followed by hazelnut meringue with hazelnut praline and chocolate sauce ❤️
Simple Squash Risotto
Serves 2
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  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 600ml veg stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 140g risotto rice
  • 100ml white wine
  • 50g Parmesan
  1. Heat oven to 200C. Peel and chop the butternut squash into 2cms cubes, toss in half the olive oil and roast in the oven for 30-40 mins until golden brown on the outside and soft in the middle. Once cooked take out of oven and keep warm.
  2. While squash is roasting, warm the remaining oil in a pan with 25g butter and gently cook the onion for about 3 mins until tender then add the celery, garlic and herbs with some salt & pepper and cook for a further 2 mins. Stir in the rice then add the wine and cook until almost all of the wine has been absorbed.
  3. Then slowly add the stock, a ladle at a time until all the stock has been absorbed. Be careful to stir gently so as not to end up with a mush!
  4. When all the stock has been absorbed turn off the heat and stir in most of the butternut squash, S&P, the remaining butter and Parmesan. Finally spoon the risotto into two bowls, top with the few pieces of remaining squash, a few rocket leaves and a dusting of extra Parmesan… enjoy ❤️
Sautéed Spinach, Shallots & Garlic
Serves 2
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  1. Warm the oil in a frying pan with a lid, add the shallots and garlic and cook until golden. Stir in the spinach and add 1tbsp water.
  2. Cover pan with lid and leave for about 30 secs, remove lid and rapidly boil until all the liquid has been absorbed. Spoon into a bowl and serve ❤️
Hazelnut Meringues, Hazelnut Praline & Chocolate Sauce
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Serves 2
For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 25g ground up hazelnuts
  • For the hazelnut praline cream:
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 75ml double cream
For the chocolate sauce
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 25g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • Icing sugar and cocoa powder to serve


  1. Heat oven to 120degrees … whisk egg whites with lemon juice until stiff, add caster sugar and continue whisking and then gently fold through the icing sugar and ground hazelnuts.
  2. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and spoon 6 discs about 7cms in size. Cook  for 1.5 - 2 hours. When cooked leave to cool.
  3. To make praline: melt caster sugar gently in a saucepan until it turns a golden caramel colour. Carefully swirl hazelnuts around in the sugar for a few mins until covered in caramel then tip out onto a piece of grease proof paper and leave to cool.
  4. Make the chocolate sauce by heating together 75ml water, cocoa powder and the icing sugar until it boils then pour over the chocolate and mix together.
To serve:- 
  1. Whisk the double cream, finely chop the hazelnut praline either by hand or in a mini food processor and stir most of it into the cream.
  2. Place a meringue dis on each plate, top with a little cream, add another disc, more cream and finally another disc. Dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder and the remaining praline and drizzle over the chocolate sauce
Thank You Mimi for this stunning menu.