Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fruits of the Earth: Or how I learned to love root vegetables Part II

Ah beets....your astonishing magenta color has always attracted me, but your taste- half sugar, half earth has always left me rather perplexed. And wouldn't you know it, the dominant vegetable in my bag o' roots was BEETS. It was as if the universe (or the farmer) was determined to make me face this obstacle head on once and for all. This was a tough one for me. Borscht was the first thing that came to mind but I've never cared for that soup, and every other recipe I came across left the beets so unadorned that I wasn't sure I could face them. Then I found my solution- Beet Ravioli!

What do parents do when they cant get their kids to eat something healthy? They mix it in with something tasty so it goes down easy. Im certainly not above this sort of trickery when it comes to Jeff and I, so the idea of pureeing beets, putting them into pasta, and then making said pasta into ravioli seemed like it could work. Maybe this is cheating, but hey, its a start right?

I ended up following this recipe for Roasted Beet Ravioli stuffed with Goat Cheese and Ricotta (courtesy of Martha Stewart), but omitted the mint. Look at that amazing color! Jeff said it looked like playdough. My fingers were stained bright pink for a good part of the day after making this, so dont wear any light or precious clothing during this process.

I must apologize for the appearance of my ravioli. Though I have made fresh pasta many times, I have never made ravioli, and without the proper attachments, I sort of had to wing it. They came out a bit chewy, (and the magenta color faded to pink during cooking ) but the flavor was excellent. There was but a ghost of a taste of beets-just a nice earthy undertone, and the goat cheese and ricotta filling had just the right tang. We served the ravioli with a bit of olive oil, grated Romano, some freshly ground black pepper, and a drop of truffle oil. I think any sauce more strong tasting than that, would hide this dish's delicate taste.

I now have about two cups of roasted beet puree left in the fridge, but dont worry, I have plans for it. I have been wanting to make a beet chocolate cake for some time....stay tuned!

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