Not that I have any idea, but this seems like a reasonable question. Besides worrying about backne, awkward conversation, which shoes to wear, and how you greet someone you’ve only “met” electronically (do you shake hands? hug? I’m not kidding), one definitely needs to take comfort in the pre-date food. So rule #2: comfort food.
And yes, you need to eat, particularly if you’re going out for drinks. That’s rule #1.
So what to eat? Don’t want to eat anything too heavy, in case you veer off for snacks at some point, and to ensure you don’t nod off. Anything stinky or gassy, out…for obvious reasons. Rules #3 and 4. Starch might be good, so you don’t get hammered as you nervously burn through your first drink in 5 minutes flat. Well, just don’t do that anyway. Rule #5.
And rule #6: Whatever it is, it shouldn’t require a lot of cleanup, so you can get out of the house and show up on time. (I don’t know about you, but my date would lose points showing up late to a first meeting.) But frankly, you’re probably too distracted to get complicated anyway.
So I’m going with simple and delicious and comforting and aromatic.
A pal brought me a basket of Meyer lemons last week (the first crop from her tree), and I actually have some greens in the house, so I’m making the pasta with lemon, creme fraiche, and arugula from Amanda Hesser’s Cooking for Mr. Latte.
The dish couldn’t be easier: Cook some linguine, toss it in a bowl with a handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, the zest of a couple of the lemons, and a few handfuls of torn arugula. Add a half cup of creme fraiche, some juice from the lemons, and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water, if it’s too thick. That’s it.
I don’t have creme fraiche today, so I’m using my new favorite ingredient: thick and creamy Greek-style Fage yogurt. I’ve been using that stuff lately wherever I’d use sour cream, and sometimes even to thicken a sauce when I’m out of cream…it’s awesome. I suspect the tang here will be lovely.
The date, we’ll see. But don’t forget rule #7: Brush your teeth before you leave.