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Beet Vinaigrette-Marinated Ahi with Cocoa-Dusted Asparagus for #TripleSBites

This is a virtually effortless appetizer that's as tasty as it is simple. I had planned to make my own vinaigrette as a marinade, then a bottle of beet vinaigrette arrived from one of the event sponsors Out of the Weeds and my dish was decided. It was even easier than I anticipated. Thanks, Robin.

Just for fun, here are the (purported) aphrodisiac qualities to this appetizer...

Beets: When I visited the ruins of Pompeii, I saw frescoes of beets on the wall of the brothel. In Greek mythology Aphrodite ate beets to augment her beauty. Ancient Romans believed that drinking beet juice was a love potion of sorts. But there may be some science in relation to this myth: naturally-occurring nitrates in beets can increase blood flow and beets also contain high amounts of boron, which is directly correlated to the production of sex hormones. You decide. I just love the pink color they lend to dishes.

Chocolate or Cocoa: Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which stimulates the same hormone your body releases during sex.

Asparagus: Cultures all around the world have mentioned the aphrodisiac qualities of asparagus. The Greeks wrote of it in love poetry and the Kama Sutra advised crushing it into a paste to make a beverage. Aside from its obviously phallic shape, asparagus is also rich in calcium, vitamin E and potassium, which all might lend a dose of extra energy.

Beet Vinaigrette-Marinated Ahi

  • 3/4 C beet vinaigrette (thanks, Out of the Weeds*)
  • ahi filets, cubed
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
Place the ahi in a small mixing bowl. Pour marinade over the fish, tossing to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes - and up to 4 hours.

When you're ready to cook, preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove fish from marinade and arrange the cubes on the baking sheet. Broil the cubes until they are just cooked through and caramelized on top; ours took approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

To serve, place the fish on a plate. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with a good quality olive oil.

Cocoa-Dusted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 organic lemon, thinly sliced
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Place the asparagus in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to coat the spears, then toss with garlic, salt, pepper, and cocoa powder. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Top with lemon slices

Bake in the oven until just tender. Ours took approximately 12 to 15 minutes. 

Thanks, Out of the Weeds* - just one of our #TripleSBites sponsors - for ingredients used in this recipe.

*Full Disclosure: I received a bottle of beet vinaigrette from Out of the Weeds for participating in #TripleSBites. Feel free to use whatever vinaigrette you have on-hand. I received no additional compensation for this post; all comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own.

Here's what everyone else brought to the table today...

We had some very generous event sponsors for this event.


  1. Great appetizer and thanks for the history on aphrodisiacs.

  2. Cocoa asparagus? Now that I've got to try.

  3. These are some really unique flavor pairings. I must try them!

  4. Wow, this sounds truly awesome! Especially the cocoa dusted asparagus? You're boys eat this?? That is awesome!

  5. Different surf and turf items are always favorites. Like my bacon wrapped oysters. Yum!!

  6. That asparagus looks divine!


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