Valentine's Day tapas for two

Jan 16, 2010 at 8:41 p.m. ET

Tasty tapas and a rich and wonderful wine are all you need for a warm, cozy Valentine's Day dinner at home. Nibbling and sipping while you and your mate gaze into each other's eyes is a sensuous prelude to a steamy night of romance. Unlike heavy restaurant meals that weigh you down, tapas will not only satisfy your hunger, these sexy little dishes will deliciously whet your appetite for love.

Valentine's Day Gildas

Tantalizing tapas for two

No need to spend your Valentine's Day afternoon slaving in the kitchen to wow your mate with a mouthwatering multi-course meal, the following tapas recipes are quick-to-fix and offer a delectable array of impressive tastes and textures. Pair them with a fruity, spicy red wine and simply sit back and savor.

Valentine's Day tapas recipes

Campo Viejo 2005 Reserva

Our pick for an especially good Spanish red wine to pair with these tapas is Campo Viejo 2005 Reserva, a smooth, ruby red wine that exudes hints of cherry and blackberries and spicy notes of cloves and pepper.


Serves 2

Gildas are a succulent assembly of a Spanish chile pepper, an anchovy and an olive. Gildas are especially good with crostini.


  • Marinated anchovies in olive oil
  • Spanish chile peppers (guindillas) 
  • Pitted green olives
  • French bread, sliced, drizzled with olive oil and toasted

Curl up an anchovy and thread it onto a cocktail stick followed by two or three peppers and an olive. Serve the gilda on the crostini.

Grilled Ginger Eggplant

Serves 2

Give your tapas a fusion twist. Japanese eggplants are sensual even just in appearance, but when brushed with a tantalizing glaze and grilled into a tender delicacy, they will make you deliciously sigh with every bite.


  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 small Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • Sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat.
  2. To make glaze, mix vinegar, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons sesame oil, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Add sugar to taste.
  3. Brush remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame oil over eggplant and sprinkle with pepper to taste.
  4. Place eggplant, cut side down, on grill or grill pan and cook about 5 minutes. Turn eggplant and brush with glaze. Grill until eggplant is tender.
  5. Remove eggplant from the heat and drizzle with additional glaze. Serve hot.

Salmon Cakes

Serves 2

Scrumptious little salmon cakes are sexy to nibble with cocktail forks, and even more erotic if you and your mate feed them to each other by hand. High in omega-3's, these little bites are good for your heart in more way than one.


  • 2 fresh egg whites
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 12 to 14 ounces cooked salmon, flaked
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. In a bowl, combine egg whites, bread crumbs, salmon, lemon juice, dill and dry mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 4 patties.
  2. Pour enough oil into a medium-sized nonstick skillet to coat the bottom. Heat over medium heat.
  3. Place salmon cakes in skillet and cook for 3 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned. Flip and cook until second side of salmon cakes are lightly browned.
  4. Transfer to a plate and serve with lemon wedges or a condiment of your choice.

More sexy Valentine's Day ideas

Seductive chocolate and wine pairings for Valentine's Day
How to make edible lingerie
Throw a Valentine's Day bash