Love at second bite: a couple rediscovers their passion for each other over a spicy and sensuous romantic dinner for two – includes recipes

Love at second bite: a couple rediscovers their passion for each other over a spicy and sensuous romantic dinner for two – includes recipes – Cover Story

Michael Taus

Individuals travel down unexpected roads in life and often those roads lead us far away from someone we once loved. Life goes on, and people change. Sometimes, though, a certain lost love isn’t truly forgotten because those memories remain in our hearts. It is rare when that love has a chance to rekindle like it did for us.

Michael and I were eighth-grade sweethearts in LaGrange Park, Ill., until moved away to Tampa, Fla., in 1981. We kept in touch for many years, and I even attended Michael’s prom in 1985. Then we fell out of touch but recently found our love for each other again when I traveled to Chicago on a business trip.

When we got together for the first time in four years, we realized how much more we had in common now than ever before. Michael is the chef/owner of Zealous Restaurant in Elmhurst, Ill., and I am a vegetarian who loves to cook.

The second evening of our weekend we spent in the kitchen cooking a romantic vegetarian dinner for two. The first course, Tomato Towers, consisted of layers of finely chopped red and yellow tomatoes, avocado and fresh herbs. Our shared love of Asian and Indian cuisines inspired the second and third courses of our romantic dinner, Asian Pear and Beet Salad and Indian Curried Vegetables.

The most romantic dish of the dinner was the dessert. We made a Fruit Spring Roll with Ginger-Chocolate Sauce. It’s fun, and sensuous, to feed to each other after dipping the fruit-filled rolls in the heavenly ginger-scented chocolate sauce.

There is nothing more appropriate to finish a romantic dinner for two than a good bottle of champagne. We recommend Moet Chandon White Star Champagne sipped and shared from one tall and elegant champagne flute.

Our second time around is more than a match made in heaven, it’s a match made in the kitchen of love. We’d like to share that love with the following Valentine’s Day menu and recipes for two.

Tomato Towers

1/2 ripe yellow tomato, diced (about

1/2 cup)

1/2 ripe red tomato, diced (about

1/2 cup)

1/2 large avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 tsp. fresh lime juice

1/2 Tbs. fresh chives, minced

1/2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped

1 medium shallot, minced

Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

to taste

1 oz. radish sprouts or other sprouts

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