Ah, pink. The color of flowers, the flush of first love, and perfectly cooked medium-rare beef…as well as several other foods that can lead to romantic overtures. Here, a little inspiration for your Valentine’s repast.

A Cosmopolitan cocktail in a martini glass with a twist of orange peel floating in it.
Isobel Wield
1 of 18


The iconic Cosmopolitan, a cocktail made with simple ingredients such as vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, and cranberry, has a vibrant color and a taste that’s dangerously easy to sip.
A partially sliced semi-boneless Tuscan style roasted leg of lamb on a wooden cutting board with a knife resting beside the lamb.
Eric Wolfinger
2 of 18

Tuscan Style Roast Leg of Lamb

This Tuscan style roast leg of lamb is made in traditional Italian fashion with a garlic, rosemary, lemon, and olive oil marinade before being roasted until perfectly tender. Easy and elegant.
Four pieces of salmon banh mi wrapped in paper in a box.
Kimberley Hasselbrink
3 of 18

Salmon Banh Mi

My recipe for banh mi swaps in flaky salmon for the usual pork and adds a drizzle of garlicky aioli to boot. Unconventional perhaps but I'll think you'll love it just as much.
A cutting board with lamb chops, some in racks, some sliced, along jus and lemon halves.
Christopher Hirsheimer
4 of 18

Grilled Lamb Chops

This grilled lamb chops recipe, aka scottadito in Italian, is easy and succulent as can be. It relies on a simple marinade of harissa, lemon, garlic, and olive oil.
Two homemade toaster tarts on a sheet of parchment drizzled with glaze.
Eric Wolfinger
5 of 18

Homemade Pop Tarts

These homemade Pop Tarts reimagine everyone’s favorite breakfast indulgence from childhood as something you’d actually want as an adult. Flaky pastry that’s essentially pie crust, a not-too-sweet filling, and that extra drizzle of sweetness. So easy.
Two white serving plates with swirls of beet hummus, topped with chopped almonds
Karen Mordechai
6 of 18

Beet Hummus

Beet hummus isn’t just the best-looking dip at the party, it’s also healthy and tastes like fresh sumac and smoky root vegetable. You’re going to love how easy it is, too.
Four wedges of raspberry streusel coffee cake on a white wooden background.
Izy Hossack
7 of 18

Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Raspberry streusel coffee cake isn’t just for breakfast. It’s buttery and almond-y and just all around lovely. And gonna knock your socks off.
Close-up of a beef Wellington on a plate with a sprig of rosemary
8 of 18

Beef Wellington

A favorite holiday dish, Beef Wellington is beef fillet is slathered with pate, covered in diced mushrooms and puff pastry, and baked.
A white plate with four slices of seared tuna with sweet and sour sauce, rice, and cooked greens.
Ditte Isager
9 of 18

Seared Tuna with Sweet and Sour Sauce

This seared tuna with sweet and sour sauce is a quick and easy and healthy weeknight recipe from Dr. Andrew Weil made with tuna drizzled with a soy, sugar, and black vinegar sauce.
A blue bowl with three scoops of strawberry buttermilk ice cream and a gold spoon on the side.
Yuki Sugiura
10 of 18

Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

This strawberry buttermilk ice cream is made with an egg-free buttermilk and cream base with strawberries and lemon mixed in. Sweet, creamy, tangy, and completely irresistible.
Two seared duck breasts, one sliced, the other whole on a wood cutting board
Gentl & Hyers
11 of 18

Seared Duck Breast

Seared duck breast that’s restaurant-worthy after being rubbed with a garlic and peppercorn paste and cooked to perfection is a simple yet sophisticated dinner for any occasion.
A pink homemade sno ball--coconut-covered dome--on a white plate with two more sno balls in the back.
Robert Olding
12 of 18

Homemade Sno Balls

These homemade sno balls are our take on Hostess Sno Balls and are made with chocolate cake, a meringue filling and frosting, and fuzzy pink coconut. They taste almost like the real deal–but are way better for you–and are perfect for any occasion but are especially well-suited to birthday parties, spring, showers, and Easter.
A closeup of pink beer bubbles in a glass.
Davide Luciano
13 of 18

Pink Beer

Pink beer is where it's at. This fizzy little sipper combines a lighter beer with lemon-lime soda, lemonade, fruit, and vodka just to make sure it's boozy enough. Feel free to use regular lemonade if the pink is too much for you…
A slab of red wine cherry cheesecake bars cut into squares.
Sarah Kieffer
14 of 18

Red Wine Cherry Cheesecake Bars

These red wine cherry cheesecake bars are made with a graham cracker crust, cheesecake filling, and boozy cherry swirl. Sorta like your fave diner dessert but with a little sass and sophistication tossed in for good measure. You’re welcome.
Several varieties of crystallized flowers scattered across a white surface.
Sue Stubbs
15 of 18

Crystallized Flowers

Making crystallized flowers is easier than you may think. Read on to find out how to make those stunning edible garnishes.
A tray of twelve mini muffin financiers, each with two raspberries on top.
Marcus Nilsson
16 of 18

Mini-Muffin Financiers

These mini-muffin financiers—small almond cakes—are a French classic. Made with almond flour, egg whites, confectioners sugar, honey, and melted butter, the financiers are studded with raspberries and baked until golden brown.
Four low ball glasses filled with pink sbagliato
Joann Pai
17 of 18

Pink Sbagliato

The pink sbagliato, a stunning cross between a negroni and Champagne cocktail, is made with Campari, sweet vermouth, and sparkling rosé.
Three glasses filled with rosé sangria, lime wheels, nectarine wedges, watermelon cubes, and raspberries.
Kimberley Hasselbrink
18 of 18

Rosé Sangria

For this rosé sangria, apples and oranges traditionally found in sangria are swapped for sweet summer fruits like watermelon and peaches.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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