Make a Valentine meal at home

The Associated PressFebruary 6, 2013 

Not planning to go out for Valentine’s Day? Then plan a special menu for a romantic night in.

This dish is warm and comforting, and rich with flavors that say “you’re special.” It cooks up in a gratin dish, so you can assemble it ahead of time, then when you’re ready to eat, just pop it in the oven. While the gratin bakes, assemble the salad and serve everything together with a crusty baguette.

CRAB AND HEARTS OF PALM GRATIN WITH ARUGULA AND CHERRY SALAD

FOR THE GRATIN:

14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained

14-ounce can hearts of palm, drained

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grated fontina cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

12 ounces lump crab meat

cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon butter, melted

FOR THE SALAD:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon maple syrup

2 cups baby arugula

1/4 cup fresh or dried cherries

2 tablespoons toasted almonds (optional)

Sea salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 375 F. Place 2 shallow individual-sized casserole or gratin dishes on a baking sheet.

Chop artichoke hearts and hearts of palm into 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium bowl, gently stir together artichokes and hearts of palm with thyme, lemon zest, cream, fontina, white pepper and crab. Spoon the mixture into gratin dishes.

In a small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, paprika, salt and melted butter. Sprinkle over gratins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbling and golden.

Make the salad. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and maple syrup. Add arugula, cherries and almonds and gently toss to coat. Serve topped with sea salt and black pepper.

Nutrition information per serving: 1,020 calories; 410 calories from fat (40 percent of total calories); 46 g fat (24 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 280 mg cholesterol; 101 g carbohydrate; 13 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 58 g protein; 2,190 mg sodium.

Start to finish: 45 minutes Servings: 2

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