When I was first getting into raw foods, raw ravioli, prepared using thinly sliced beets as the pasta portion, was one of the first recipes I sampled and then learned. The dish I tried was served at Pure Food and Wine. It was simple, elegant, incredibly flavorful, and it evoked a traditional dish–ravioli–with a fresh perspective. I loved it.
I’ve made many beet raviolis since I first discovered the dish. There is, as a matter of fact, a beet ravioli in my cookbook.
That one is made with cashew cheese. This one is made with pine nut cheese, which is a little bit more complex and nutty tasting (as opposed to cashew, which is pretty neutral), and I used only golden beets, as opposed to a red/golden mixture (or red alone). I love the bright pop of color, especially if you serve it with a little drizzle of pesto or basil oil.
The ravioli make an elegant and easy appetizer, especially if you prep them ahead of time! Steven and I had friends over for dinner two weeks ago, and I served these as a first course. I sliced the beets and marinated them in advance, and I prepped the pine nut cheese two days ahead of time. I whipped up a quick fennel and arugula salad at the last minute, using the beet marinade as dressing, and voila: insta-appetizer. Insta, and very tasty. Here’s the recipe.
1-2large golden beetspeeled, four edges sliced down to create a square shape
For the pine nut cheese:
1cuppine nutssoaked 2-4 hours and drained
1small clove garlicminced (optional)
Pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2cupwateruse judgment
For the basil oiloptional
To prepare the beet ravioli, slice the beet into very thin slices (less than 1/8 of an inch). It's easiest to do this with a mandolin, but a sharp knife will do the trick! Cut as many beet slices as you'll need to serve 2-6 ravioli per person, 2 beet slices per ravioli. (The pine nut cheese will yield enough for approximately 16 ravioli, but you can make half of that and then enjoy the cheese on top of salads or as a dip, too.) Whisk the oil, lemon, and salt together and pour into a shallow dish (such as a glass lock container). Add the beet slices, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
To prepare the pine nut cheese, add all ingredients except for the water to a food processor or a high speed blender. Start by adding 1/4 cup water and blending the mixture on high speed. Add more water as needed as you go along; the goal is to have a mixture that resembles a thick, creamy hummus in texture. Stop often to scrape the bowl down as you go.
To prepare the basil oil, blend the basil, oil, and salt till the mixture is smooth.
To serve the ravioli, pat the marinated beet slices dry. Place one beet square on your prep surface and top it with 1 tablespoon of the pine nut cheese. Top the cheese with the other beet square and gently press the edges together. Arrange ravioli on a serving plate and drizzle them with basil oil, if desired.
Delicate and delicious. Perhaps you’ll consider making these for a holiday dinner with friends, or heck, for yourself, as part of an especially pretty dinner! I hope you love them.
Thanks for all of the great responses to my holiday gift guide! Glad you’re enjoying it. I’ll see you back here on Friday, with a lovely seasonal soup recipe.