02/07/2012 03:08 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Vegetable's Secret Message For Lovers?

The Splendid Table®'s How To Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Dear Lynne,

Is there any truth to the tale that vegetables have secret messages for lovers? I heard you said something on your show about this. Could it change my bummed out love life? Please tell all.



Dear Jason,

Some playfulness based on truth is what this was about. It comes from a long ago show.

People gave meanings to plants since the first days of hunting and gathering. They changed with eras and geography, so you can decide which sources work for you.

As for changing your love life, if there's a bad-mouthing type in your life that you want to get rid of, try this salad. Serve up peas, lettuce and almonds, sprinkled with fresh basil and marigold petals. Here is the message.

• Peas mean departure or, "Get out of my life!"
• Lettuce gives the reason, it signifies cold heartedness.
• Almonds back it up with "stupidity."
• Basil dashes all hope with "hatred."
• Marigold petals have the last word with "a vulgar mind."

This cookie recipe could turn around a bummed-out love life. Pine symbolizes fidelity, courage, hope in adversity and daring. Chocolate is all about sensuality.

15 minutes prep time; 12 minutes oven time

You get about 80 small cookies, each large enough for a single bite.

The cookies hold, sealed airtight, 5 days; they freeze for 6 months.

These tiny, soft, intensely chocolate cookies are packed with pine nuts, while a little rum gives them a welcome bite.

2 1/2 cups (11 ounces) pine nuts, toasted
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
Generous pinch salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup dark rum or grappa
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or butter and flour it. (Cookies bake in three batches. Spooning them out onto sheets of parchment makes the process easier.)

2. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, puree 2/3 of the pine nuts with the sugar and flour. Add the salt, egg yolks, liquor, melted chocolate, cocoa and vanilla and process until combined (a few short bursts). Dough will be very soft. Turn into a bowl and stir in the remaining pine nuts.

3. Drop by the 1/2 teaspoonful onto three sheets of parchment cut to fit your cookie sheet. Space cookies 1/2 inch apart. Set a parchment sheet on cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Cookies will be soft when pressed. Remove from oven. Repeat two more times with remaining dough on sheets of parchment. Cool cookies completely on the parchment paper set on a rack. Store in an airtight container.