All is not lost if you've forgotten Valentine's Day: you can still whip up a stonking three course meal to impress that special someone

Image: Half an hour til hometime: The Valentine's Day meal you can still make tonight


Love Hearts: your Valentine's saviour

We've all been there, the nagging feeling that you've forgotten something, staring into space thinking "is it a birthday? ... the dentist?" only to be hit by the sudden realisation that it's Valentine's Day and you're supposed to be cooking! But all is not lost, disorganised but enthusiastic lover: this is the super-impressive three-course meal you can make with zero prep and one rapid dash to the supermarket. 

Step 1

Head to the supermarket. You will need:

  • figs
  • puff pastry
  • goats' cheese 
  • Parma ham
  • wine
  • rocket 
  • steak for two
  • potatoes
  • Nutella
  • bananas
  • Love Hearts
  • a packet of Rolos

Step 2

Congratulate self on excellent experience in the supermarket. Eat the Rolos. Save the last one. Put it somewhere safe.

Step 3

Get home. Congratulate self on getting home. Pour glass of wine. 

Step 4: the starter  Parma ham Valentine’s tart

Ain't no one got time to make their own puff pastry. Accept your life as a busy human and get out your shop-bought puff pastry with pride. Roll it out, place the chopped figs, cheese and ham on top. Season with black pepper. If you're feeling really fancy, do it in the shape of a heart ...


Step 5: the main event – steak, rocket and potato hearts


Waferboard / CC BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: waferboard

The fig tarts need to cook for 25 minutes, so while those are in get ready for the main event. Check out how to cook the perfect steak, and get thinking about those potatoes. Aim for three heart-shaped potatoes, which you can display on top of the steak. If after three you think you can keep going, keep going. If after three you'd rather get divorced than keep going, let's leave it there. 10/10 for effort. 

heart-shaped potatoes



Step 6: dessert! Nutella and banana mug brownie

Come on, this is what we're all here for. Get out two mugs, put half a banana in each and mash them up with a fork. Throw in some flour, sugar, butter and a tablespoon of Nutella and put the mug in the microwave for 30 seconds. Take it out and mix everything together, then back in for another 1-2 minutes until it looks like a brownie. Add ice cream if you've got it, place a Love Heart on top (consider "True Love" over, say, "You're Cool") and serve. Perfection. 

Step 7: your last Rolo

Rescue that last Rolo from earlier. If you ate it by accident forget this step. Otherwise quietly present it to your partner. Bask in their adoration.