All Elaine wants is love.
The Love Witch (2016), written and directed and all-around crafted by Anna Biller, is a technicolor dream of a movie. It’s meticulously stylish, with the color palette of a tarot deck and the feel of a 60s film. But it’s not all style – it explores love and longing, gender dynamics, and tragic pain, all through the eyes of Elaine (in a bewitching performance by Samantha Robinson). Elaine has one goal in mind: perfect love and perfect trust, to be intensely and all-consumingly desired. And she’ll cast whatever spell it takes to get it.
She is quite traditional in her views and methods – women are made for cooking, cleaning, and sex – and believes in the old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Her magical pursuits always include a seductive meal. “I enjoy cooking,” she declares, and we see her preparing both manly steaks and dark, decadent cakes for her targets.
Elaine generally goes for the meat and potatoes type, so here are some options for savory sides for that slab of meat. Nothing too fussy though; she would need to have dinner on the table before the hallucinogenic herbs kick in (or before her husband gets cranky, as we hear in flashbacks). Each of these simple sides also contain some witchy ingredients for spell enhancement.
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Sautéed Mushrooms with Shallots and Tarragon
Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs and one that I don’t use nearly enough. It’s very bright and almost minty, so it contrasts really well with earthy mushrooms. I use it in creamy mushroom soup, and it’s lovely here as well. And witches can use it for confidence, luck, and attracting love.
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- splash sherry
Heat butter and olive oil in a pan on medium high heat. Saute shallot until golden, being careful not to burn. Add sliced mushrooms, generous pinch salt and few cracks black pepper and cook until thoroughly sweated and beginning to turn golden. Add dried tarragon and stir until fragrant. Add a splash of sherry and cook until the liquid has mostly cooked off.
Asparagus with Lemon, Aleppo Pepper, and Burrata
In pagan tradition, asparagus is used in lust and fertility spells because…well, it’s a little phallic. But it’s also delicious, and this preparation is simple but feels fancy so it’s a perfect seductive side dish.
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- olive oil, sea salt, Aleppo pepper (or substitute smoked paprika)
- 1 lemon
- 4 ounce ball burrata
Set oven to broil.
In a roasting pan, toss asparagus with olive oil, a generous sprinkle of sea salt, a good pinch aleppo pepper and the zest of one lemon. Broil for five minutes then roll with a spatula, then broil for two or three more minutes, until asparagus is soft but keeps a bite.
Slice the burrata and lay in a line on a plate, arranging the warm asparagus over it. Sprinkle with a little more aleppo pepper and a spritz of lemon juice.
Garlicky Mashed Potatoes
Meat and potatoes men require potatoes of course. This preparation has a full head of sweet roasted garlic. Garlic is often used in protection spells, but is also associated with love spells, and is an aphrodisiac.
- 1 head garlic
- olive oil
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons milk, half and half, or cream
Trim the top off of the garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in a 400 degree oven until soft, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle, and squeeze the roasted garlic from the papers. Set aside.
Peel the potatoes and chop into 1 inch pieces. In a pot, cover with cold water and a generous pinch salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until easily smashed by a fork.
Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Warm the butter and milk together, then add with garlic to the potatoes and smash well. Add more milk for desired texture and salt to taste.
Need more horror-inspired recipes? See everything delectable dish in the Witchy Kitchen cookbook HERE and let us now your own recipes over Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!