Carol Alt’s Healthy Lifestyle
“I was delighted when Sarma Melngailis, chef and co creator of Pure Food and Wine as well as Chief Duck gave me this recipe. The very thinly sliced vegetable that is used for the ravioli — in this case, red beet — has pretty much the same consistency as pasta. By the way, pasta means “paste” in Italian, and that’s exactly what it is when it’s in your system.”
“The real gift here is the “goat cheese,” which is made with softened pine nuts. The last time I ate this dish, the “cheese” was so delicious, I ate it without the ravioli shell. Like cashews, pine nuts are extremely versatile, taking on the flavor of the spices you use with them. You can also mix them with mushrooms and make mushroom ravioli.”
Red Beet Ravioli with Tarragon Goat Cheese
- 3 cups raw pine nuts
- 3⁄4 cup cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil
- 2 whole lemons, zested, then peeled and quartered
- 1 medium shallot
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 garlic clove
- 3⁄4 cup purified water
- Salt to taste
- 1 medium or 2 small red beets
- 3⁄4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
- Cracked pepper to taste
- Soak the pine nuts in enough purified water to cover them for 1 hour. Drain, put the pine nuts in a food processor, and add the olive oil, lemon quarters, shallot, and zest. Process for about 8 minutes until the mixture is well combined and clumps together.
- Pour half of this mixture into a blender and set the rest aside. Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the peppercorns to the mixture in the blender and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes, until thick and smooth. Transfer the “goat cheese” to a bowl and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, place the reserved pine nut mixture in the blender. Add the remaining teaspoon of peppercorns, the garlic, and the water, and blend on high speed for 1 minute, until smooth but quite liquid. Add the salt, and set the sauce aside.
- Roughly chop the tarragon and fold 1/2 cup of the leaves into the cheese once the cheese has completely chilled. Add salt to taste.
- Peel the beets and slice paper-thin. Lay out half of the slices on a clean surface. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cheese onto each slice, then top each with a second beet slice. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer, sprinkle with salt, then store in the refrigerator.
- To serve, pour the sauce onto a deep serving platter and arrange the ravioli on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of tarragon leaves, and salt and cracked pepper.