Thursday, May 19, 2011
Turnip Ravioli with Asparagus-Scallion Cheese
The CSA share included another amazing bounty this week...what to make? Today I created just about the cutest ravioli ever, and they were a lot quicker than traditional ravioli, because the shell is…turnips! The teeny harukei turnips that came in my half share this week, thinly sliced, made great ravioli shells, and I used my asparagus and scallions, blended into a cashew “cheese” as a filling – yum!
1 small bunch turnips (beets work, too!)
1 cup raw cashews
½ bunch of asparagus
1 large scallion
A medium lemon
Seas salt & black pepper, to taste
Simple Parsley Pesto
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
First, soak 1 cup of raw cashews in fresh water for at least an hour (if you forgot this step, don’t worry! You may just need to add more water later on).
Next, make your pesto: in a food processer (I like a small one for this job), combine parsley, oil, salt and pepper until mostly smooth. You’ll still be able to see specks of parsley. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour into a small bowl and set to the side.
Drain cashews. In the same food processer (don’t bother washing it, we’re going to add a little pesto, anyway!), combine cashews with 2 tablespoons lemon juice (you lemon will likely contain 3 or so, depending on its size), a teaspoon of lemon zest, half a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of fresh black pepper. Add ¼ to ½ cup of water SLOWLY, until your mix resembles a thick but smooth ricotta cheese, pausing to scrape down sides. Add ½ of the thick, white part of the scallion, blend in, and adjust salt, pepper and lemon to taste.
Slice your asparagus crosswise into thin rounds, about 1/8 of an inch, reserving the tops. In a small bowl, combine cashew cheese mixture with 2/3 of a cup of asparagus and the remainder of the white portion of your scallion, finely chopped.
Now, slice your turnips into very thin rounds. I use a spiral slicer, which makes long, thin connected ribbons, that I break apart and piece back into circles. You could also use a mandoline, or a very sharp knife (watch your fingers!) or even a potato peeler. Try to get the slices less than 1/8 of an inch, closer to 1/16.
Arrange a dozen or so turnip slices on a dinner plate. Top each with ½ teaspoon of the cashew-asparagus mixture, and top with another turnip slice. Press down lightly – don’t worry if some cheese leaks out the sides. Repeat with remaining turnip slices and cheese (this recipe will make 4-5 dozen). Drizzle parsley pesto on ravioli (covering up any slices or holes in the turnip with a little dollop of sauce), and garnish with reserved asparagus spears. As I like to say…raw appétit!