Love is… having someone to check you for nits

Adult-only ingredients and wine? Check. Kids in bed early? Fingers crossed

It’s safe to say that my better half and I have never been overt romantics. We have our special moments, of course, but rarely the prearranged kind. So Valentines Day flowers and gifts has never really been our thing.

However, one night last year, my best-friend arrived home with a romantic brown paper bag full of presents that touched my heart and got me all teary – chocolates and a Tiffany’s box? No, it was nit treatments and a matching pair of his ‘n’ hers nit combs.

Even for us it was a pretty unromantic moment, but looking at him, home after hours out in the big bad world, earning all our money and then running our errands, I had never loved him more. Perhaps it was his commitment to our family through good times and bad that got me all ‘awwwww’ over it. Or maybe I was just pre-menstrual. I can’t remember. But I do know that I look at single parents and wonder just how they cope during the dreaded nit infestations, night terrors or emergency dashes to hospital.

I’m hugely grateful that I have a lovely partner. And to say thanks, this Valentine’s Day he’s getting something special. A little special romantic dinner pour deux.

Our relationship history is littered with memorable meals both in restaurants and at home. Possibly no dish means more to us than this Tuna & Mango Salsa recipe. I made it for him on our first proper dinner together after we moved into our first apartment (almost exactly 11 years ago). Apparently this dish smoothed over any apprehensions and made him think that maybe he’d made the right decision, after all.

So try it on your man (or woman). It’s easy, but special, and with the chilli and coriander, definitely an adult’s dinner. For this night of the year, feed the kids fish fingers and pop them into bed early. Hopefully they won’t re-emerge too many times, you’ve got some serious romancing to do…

Adapted from the Family Circle 1997, ‘Tex mex’ cookbook.

Coriander Tuna with mango salsa

1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 small red chilli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp olive oil

2 tuna steaks

Mango Salsa
1 mango, peeled, diced
½ small red onion, finely sliced
½ cup coriander, chopped
2 tbsp lime juice

Crush up the first five ingredients in a mortar and pestle until you have a paste (you can also do this in a blender). Smear it over the tuna steaks, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Combine all of the salsa ingredients together in a bowl.

Heat a char-grill pan, bbq or frying pan until really hot. Sear either side of the tuna for 3 minutes or so, until cooked to your liking (I like mine still raw in the middle).

Serve with the salsa, fresh salad and wine.

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