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Red Beet Ravioli with Cashew Cheese Filling, Tarragon, and Pistachios

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

The colors in this dish are amazing: the bright blush of beets, the sunniness of yellow or orange pepper sauce, the summer-green herbs. When in season, experiment with candy stripe beets and try other herbs for the cashew filling. We use Sicilian pistachios that we buy at a Middle Eastern market. They’re a darker green and better-tasting than other types, especially when raw. Originally I tried to make red beet gnocchi using beet juice and ground up whole beets with other ingredients. They came out tasty, but our kitchen looked as if a gruesome crime had been committed. So I deconstructed the components a bit and come up with these much more manageable raviolis instead.

Serves6 as a starter or 4 as a main course

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, raw, soy free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentblender, mandoline

Mealdinner

Taste and Textureherby, light, nutty, savory, sweet

Type of Dishvegetable

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cashew nuts, soaked for 2 hours or more
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1¼ to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 green onions, white and 1 inch green, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 3 yellow or orange bell peppers, cored and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 green onion, white part only
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup pine nuts (plus 2 tablespoons, if needed), soaked 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • 1 small pinch ground (or fresh) turmeric (optional, for added color)
  • 1 large bunch red beets (2 inches diameter or more)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons macadamia oil, other nut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 handful chopped pistachios, preferably Sicilian
  • 1 teaspoon pistachio, other nut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small handful fresh tarragon leaves, torn or left whole
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Microgreens for garnish (optional)

Instructions

In a food processor, blend the nuts, lemon juice and zest, yeast, and salt until smooth. Transfer the filling to a medium bowl and fold in the onions, tarragon, and parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice, if needed. The filling should have the consistency of ricotta cheese. Store it covered in the refrigerator if not using right away; it tastes best if you bring it back to room temperature before assembling and serving.

In a Vita Mix or high speed blender, blend all the ingredients until smooth. If the sauce is too liquid, add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of soaked pine nuts. Place in a squeeze bottle or other covered container and refrigerate if not using right away.

Using a mandoline, slice the beets very thin (about 1/16 inch or less). Make stacks and cut into 2-inch squares. The size doesn’t matter much, as long as they are all roughly the same. You should have at least fifty slices. In a medium bowl, add the beet slices, macadamia oil, lemon juice, and a generous pinch of sea salt. Toss to coat: there should be enough oil and lemon juice to coat all of the slices, but not so much that they are dripping in liquid.

Arrange half the beet slices flat on serving plates. Place a generous dollop of the filling on each slice. Sauce the plates with the pepper puree, using either a squeeze bottle or just spooning it over the beets and filling (this way some of the sauce will be inside each ravioli). Top each ravioli with a beet slice, pressing down gently.

In a small bowl, toss the chopped pistachios with the oil and a pinch of sea salt. Sprinkle each ravioli with the pistachios and top with the tarragon. Grind a bit of black pepper over the plates and garnish with microgreens, if desired. We use beet microgreens at the restaurant they’re pretty and delicate.

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