photos & recipes: m.charles

Here at FOODIE.CH™ we thought we'd change things up for this edition of Cheap Eats. Since this is the Romantical Edition, an increase in the Cheap Eats budget would be acceptable. So instead of the normal 20 chf limit, we splurged and created a menu for 40 chf that will get pulses racing.

The menu is comprised almost exclusively of foods with aphrodesiac properties. Enjoy!

* in Zurich, most of the produce was purchased at New Asian Market (Feldstrasse 24, Tel. 044 241 80 00), Barkat (Birmensdorferstrasse 143, 8003 Zürich, phone 043 811 54 90; schmeide wiedikon) Co-op and Globus Delicatessan.

Serves 2
Prep time: 15mins
Cooking time: 30 mins


Arame & Rucola Salad with crushed pinenuts
Baby asparagus with Fig & Prosecco sauce
Mussel & Mushroom Risotto
Chocolate covered Almond Chards

Arame (Kelp) & Rucola Salad with Crushed Pinenuts
10g of Arame
25g (one small bundle) Rucola, washed & stemmed
5- 10g pinenuts, crushed. (peanuts as a cheaper option)
Balsamic Vinegar (Apple or Raspberry)

  1. 1. Soak arame (kelp) in a bowl of lukewarm water for 10-15mins. drain and set aside.
  2. 2. Roast pinenuts until slightly brown.
  3. 3. Layer rucola, than arame at the bottom of the a bowl. Sprinkle pine nuts on top.
  4. 4. Add a spritz of apple or raspberry balsamico to salad and serve.

    VINI VERGANI recommends: Nothing... because the balsamic vinegar causes wine to lose its taste

Asparagus with Fig-Prosecco sauce
Half of a fresh fig
1/2 cup prosecco/ cava
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Sugar or honey
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 tsp Butter
50g Baby asparagus

  1. 1. Melt butter in pan.
  2. 2. Scoop out fig into pan and sautee for 2 mins.
  3. 3. Add prosecco, paprika, sugar or honey and milk to the mix and simmer for 3-5 mins.
  4. 4. With a processor on pulse, puree mixture. sauce should have a slight pink hue to it.
  5. 5. For baby asparagus: steam or heat in a pan with water until soft not mushy.
  6. 6. Plate, pour sauce over asparagus with spoon and serve.

    VINI VERGANI recommends: Prosecco Brut Cuvée Oro
    Producer: CIELO E TERRA, Montorso, 100% Prosecco
    Degustation notes: Light straw yellow color; with the characteristic and intense notes of green apples in the nose; a pleasant tannin; quite a lasting, dry finish with a lovely fizz.

Mussel & Mushroom Risotto
10-15 Smoked mussels in oil
Mushroom Risotto
Italian spice

...A confession has to be made: We cheated on this recipe! Normally we would create a risotto from scratch but we want our readers to enjoy their evening and not be a slave to the oven.
We used Uncle Ben's Mushroom Risotto that is ready in less than 5 mins and with an addition of some dried Italian spice, it tastes good. Just add mussels to the rice 1 min before it ready. Serve

    VINI VERGANI recommends: Raudii IGT, 2006
    Producer: Cantina VALPOLICELLA, Negrar, 80% Corvina, 20% Merlot
    Degustation notes: Ruby red color with garnet red reflections; the bouquet is full-flavoured with notes of vanilla and scents of cherries; smooth and round in taste; mild tannins that blend perfectly with the wine’s texture; lasting finish comes with full-flavoured notes.

Chocolate covered Almond Chards
70-72% Chocolate (one bar)
30gr of Almonds

  1. 1. Roast almonds with the tiniest pinch of salt for 5mis or until slightly brown. Set aside.
  2. 2. Melt chocolate in a bain-marie (a metal bowl on top of a pot of very warm water. Prevents chocolate from burning.)
  3. 3. On parchment paper, pour thin layer of chocolate into a circle.
  4. 4. Cover with nuts than pour another thin layer of chocolate over nut.
  5. 5. Place on a tray and put in fridge until hardened. Remove from fridge and with a knife cut chcolate into large pieces and serve.

      VINI VERGANI recommends: Moscato di Cagliari DOC Simieri, 2005
      Producer: TREXENTA, Senorbi, 100% Moscato
      Degustation notes: Sweet, balanced and natural liqueur wine. Recommended for relaxing after dinner.