Food is sexy, don't you think? Well...most food is sexy. I'm not a believer in the chocolate and strawberries and champagne recipe for getting in the mood for love. Sure, I mean...that works, too. The truth is...I find lots of different foods sensuous for different reasons. Some make you feel warm and cozy. Some spicy foods really stimulate the senses and wake you up. Others, like truffle oil, awaken something very earthy and primitive in my brain.
I also think healthy food can be a big turn-on, too. You can eat something colorful, vibrant, filling, and delicious...and not feel like you need to lay around in your Juicy sweat-suit for the rest of the night. When I saw that Chris at MeleCotte was hosting a blog event around savory aphrodisiacs, I was really excited. As someone who isn't really a chocolate eater, it's nice to see a group of savory recipes that get people going.
Arugula has long been thought of as an aphrodisiac - as far back as the first century. Pine nuts are also considered one, due to their high Zinc content. I wanted to make a light, visually beautiful salad highlighting these two ingredients. I added shaving of salty Parmesan and quickly grilled peaches. I am adding peaches to my own aphrodisiac list - who doesn't swoon a bit thinking of biting into a juicy, fleshy peach. All of the elements of this salad just work and it comes together in a flash. The pine nuts toast while the peaches are grilling. You make a quick dressing and plate it all together in a flurry of wonderful colors and textures, leaving you plenty of time for...other things.
Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Grilled Peaches - serves 4 as a starter or side salad
- 1 bag of prewashed arugula or one heaping handful per person
- 2 medium peaches, pitted and cut into 3/4 inch wide slices
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
- Vinaigrette: juice of one lemon, 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
- Make your vinaigrette to taste and set aside.
- Heat two pans - one grill pan and one small saute pan - to medium heat.
- On the grill pan, lay peach slices and grill for about 3-4 minutes. Turn over and repeat on other side.
- In the small dry saute pan, toast pine nuts lightly. When golden brown, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Arrange arugula on plates. Place 1/4 of warm peach slices on each plate. Scatter pine nuts and shave Parmesan cheese loosely on top. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.