By now you’ve probably gathered that I love beets. Maybe you saw my post on Beet Spaghetti, or you just know because I talk about them a whole lot and use them frequently in salads and juices. So it’s no surprise that I come to you, this week, with yet another beet recipe. Bear with me, please. I’ve been on a beet roll, trying to use them in various ways and combinations, and this might be my favorite recipe of all. Creamy, cheesy, nutty filling cushioned between soft and lemony beet layers and drizzled with a delicate dill oil. It makes for a very festive and creative vegan appetizer or hors d’oeuvres, and it tastes divine.
I’m not the only one who loves this recipe. Even my husband, who is not crazy about beets (“they’re too sweet”) gobbled them up and said it was one of the best ravioli he’d ever tasted. Did you hear that? He said “ravioli”, clearly comparing it to the wheat ravioli he adores. If that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what is. He liked them so much that he hung around, “tasting”, before I told him to take his grubby hands out of my kitchen until I was done photographing.
You are going to love having a mandoline to make these ravioli. Yes, you could use a vey sharp knife, but it is much more difficult, uneven, and time-consuming. The mandoline (I use this one from Prepworks) will quickly slice up perfectly even layers, which you can then cut to size using metal cutters, such as these from Ateco. Just be very careful with your fingers when using a mandoline, as that blade will slice through fingers as if they were butter.
If you care to keep this recipe raw, you could skip the step of cooking the beets. I highly recommend it, though, because cooking the beets obviously greatly softens them, almost mirroring the texture wheat ravioli, and gives them a much better flavor and mouthfeel.
Should you wait a couple more months for beet season to start before making these? They are so good, you might not want to… sometimes cravings need to be satisfied right then and there… just sayin’…
Love and health!
Beet Ravioli with Pistachio Nut Cheese and Dill Oil
For the ravioli:
4 medium beets (assorted red, yellow and Chioggia, or one of a kind)
juice of 1 lemon
For the filling:
1/2 cup pistachios, soaked overnight, then drained
1/2 cup pine nuts, soaked for 2 hours, then drained
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fennel root
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper, to taste
For the dill oil:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup dill
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add beets and cook until soft when poked with a fork, about 40-60 minutes (depending on size). Drain and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Chop off ends of beets and peel. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the beets paper thin (this is much harder to do with a knife). Use a metal cutter (like this one from Ateco) to carve out square ravioli shapes (you could do this with a knife). Keep any leftovers for salads.
Add square beet slices in pairs to a bowl (separate by color, so they don’t bleed on each other). Splash on some olive oil and lemon juice, add a pinch of sea salt to each bowl, mix well, and marinate beets for a few minutes, and up to 2 hours.
While the beets are marinating, prepare the filling:
Add pistachios, pine nuts, water, fennel root, and garlic to a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and mix in nutritional yeast, sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Prepare the dill oil:
Add the olive oil, garlic, dill, lemon juice and sea salt to a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
Once the beets are done marinating, lay half of them on a platter. Add about 1 teaspoon of filling to each slice, and spread it around. Top with a matching beet slice.
Drizzle a little dill oil around the platter, top each ravioli with a dill sprig, and serve immediately with remaining oil on the side.