This was my first ever encounter with fresh beets. Having watched various chefs prepare them on television, I've always felt sort of intimidated by them. They seemed like they would stain everything in their path, and I tend to be a messy chef anyway. So I wanted to try them, but I was afraid, and kept saying later, later, later. I'm not sure I would have ever stopped saying later if Josh hadn't suggested this as our theme ingredient. And the result was really rather stunning...if I may humbly say so.
The recipe: Beet Ravioli with Poppy Seed Butter
Last night, I returned home from Dierbergs with two bunches of organic beets (twice what the recipe called for) because they seemed so tiny, I couldn't imagine 3 beets could ever be enough. Also, I do not own any sort of stand mixer or amazing pasta-making fixture...so wonton wrappers it is!
I've actually used them to make other ravioli dishes before, and they're great.
Here they are, post scrub.
Next, I slathered each one in a little olive oil, bundled it in foil, and nestled them all together in an 8x8" glass baking dish. Into the oven they go!
The recipe said that it should take about an hour to roast them at 400 degrees, but mine took longer. An hour and a half was just perfect. We had plenty of time to ride our bikes to the store for the ricotta that I forgot I needed, and to plant all of garden additions we picked up at Home Depot earlier this afternoon.
So domestic today!
Worried that I was going to have to explain fuchsia fingers to my co-workers tomorrow, I also picked up a pair of vinyl gloves to wear while peeling. Smart!
The beets themselves were much easier to peel and work with than anticipated.
Once I started grating the roasted chaps into a bowl, I realized that three beets were going to be more than enough. I'm glad that I went ahead and roasted all six, because the leftovers are going to make a fantastic salad tomorrow. I sliced the three extra and tossed them in the fridge.
Here are the three relevant beets, post grating, relaxing in a medium-sized bowl with the ricotta and bread crumbs. They're pretty pleased, here. They're expecting big things.
We decided to use part-skim ricotta, even though the recipe called for whole milk, just to keep things a little healthier.
Up in the left hand corner, you'll notice a yellow scrambly looking mess. That's egg. I like to use raw egg to seal the ravioli (or dumplings, if that's what you're making). The recipe actually calls for water, and it works fine too.
And here are the raviolis, post-stuffing, pre-cooking. I definitely got a little carried away, trying to cram as much filling into each one as I could, which occasionally resulted in squishiness occurring. I'm ok with this. I strive for beautiful food, but in the end, the taste is what matters.
Into the pot they went, and not a single one fell apart. This recipe made SO MUCH FOOD.
That's exciting though, who doesn't love leftovers? But you could easily make this and plan to serve 4 people. I don't know what most people do with ravioli, but I though they'd enjoy landing on a pile of mixed greens. Next time, I'd like to have some chopped nuts on hand to top them with when they're done, but parmesan and red pepper flakes were equally good.
May I present, *buh buh buh buuuuuuhhhh!!!*
And it. Was. Badass.
This recipe rates 5 stars, and I will definitely make it again. It's time consuming; I spent probably 3 hours on it. But so worthwhile. Taste-buds swooned.