Monday, November 15, 2010

Beetroot Ravioli and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

So I'm trying to be a little healthier, which means I thought it might be a nice idea to incorporate a few more vegetables in my diet. In general, though, I don't really like vegetables so much. Or maybe I just don't like "healthy" (read: boring) vegetable recipes.

I do, however, really like beets and brussels sprouts, which is why, though there is no seitan anywhere in this meal, I'm posting this entry.

I had these ravioli on the menu of my old restaurant as a small plate, along with a pea puree and pea green salad, which means that serving ten of them for dinner made me feel very decadent. (We all have our vices.) The sweetness and the soft texture of the ravioli went extremely well with the crispy saltiness of the brussels sprouts, so if I ever put the ravioli back on a menu, it will be in this combination, or something very similar.

At any rate, if you are wary of beets and brussels sprouts or have only experienced them in horrible cafeteria-style dishes, I highly suggest you give these two recipes a go. (If you're reading this, Mama, this means you.) They're very simple, but most of all, absolutely amazing. And mostly vegetable. Probably not so healthful, but not too bad, either ...

Beetroot Ravioli

one bunch beets
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
3 T panko breadcrumbs
zest of one lemon
sea salt and cracked pepper
wonton wrappers

4 T butter
2 t poppy seeds

Wrap beets in tinfoil and bake in a 400 F oven for an hour. Allow to cool, then peel. Grate the beets by hand or in a food processor, then add the ricotta, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.

Laying out a few wonton wrappers at a time, place a heaping teaspoon of the beetroot filling on each. Fold into a triangle, first wetting edges with water so they'll stick better. Place them on a sheet pan or plate lined with wax paper - careful not to overlap or they'll stick to each other if you're refrigerating them before cooking.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and add ravioli, no more than a dozen at a time; cook for about two minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saute pan and stir in poppyseeds. When the ravioli are done, carefully lift them out of the water with a slotted spoon (note: these are delicate and do NOT do well swished around or tossed into a colander) and gently toss with the butter. Plate them and add a little freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Okay, this is too easy to be so delicious, but there you are. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Trim brussels sprouts and halve (or quarter, if they're on the large side). Toss with olive oil, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Turn out onto a sheet pan, spread them out a little and roast, shaking the pan once or twice, for about 35 minutes. Add a little bit more salt when they're done. They're amazing: try them.


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