Beets are back in style. Long thought of as the food of older generations, or deemed too messy to deal with, beets have come back with the help of great chefs across the world.
A culinary staple for thousands of years, beets are among the more striking of vegetables, ranging in hues from yellow to dark crimson and all colors in between. There are even some varieties that resemble a bull's-eye. I usually roast beets and dress them with olive oil and a splash of vinegar, but sometimes I want to do a little more.
The only active cooking you will have to do in this recipe is dropping the finished ravioli into boiling water. Can you boil water? Can you use a food processor? Can you turn on your oven? Then you've got this. The beets are humbled by the rich and creamy goat cheese and the beet greens are enhanced by the lemon juice and the burly toasted pistachio. You can make your own pasta for this, but using pre-made wonton wrappers is a great time-saver.
Beet and goat cheese ravioli in a beet green and pistachio pesto
Makes: about 50 ravioli with sauce to coat
4 ounces goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces small- to medium-sized beets (red, golden, bull's-eye or a mix), peeled
wonton wrappers (these can be found at any supermarket)
5 ounces beets greens (2 tightly packed cups), destemmed and washed
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) toasted pistachios, rough chopped
1/2 cup shredded parmesan or other hard cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 ounce lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the beets on a large piece of aluminum foil with a tablespoon of water and bunch it up into a pouch. Place the beets in the oven for 30 minutes. Take the beets out of the oven and let them cool completely. In the bowl of a food processor, place goat cheese, egg, salt, pepper and beets and process for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and process for another 30 seconds until completely smooth. Scoop beet mixture into a small zip-top sandwich bag and cut a small corner off of the bag (no more than a quarter-inch).
Place wonton wrappers onto a floured surface and pipe no more than a tablespoon of the beet mixture on to the wrapper. Wet the perimeter of the wrapper with water (you can use a brush, your finger or a spray bottle). Place a second wrapper on top, press the air out and crimp with a fork or a ravioli stamp. Repeat this process until you run out of wrappers or filling. In a food processor or blender, blend beet greens, garlic, olive oil, water, pistachios, cheese, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Scrape sides and blend until smooth as possible. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil and drop in the wontons 4-5 at a time. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove using a slotted spoon. Set ravioli into bowl, dress with the pesto and add a splash of olive oil at the end for and extra kick.
Tip: In the versions I made, I separately roasted red beets mixed with bull's-eye beets in one pouch and golden beets with bull's-eye beets in another. The color becomes much lighter and the flavor becomes fuller, but feel free to use one variety.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun