I bought a big bunch of beets at the farmers market this week fully intending to make some borscht–one of my favorite soups. Then I realized how much work borscht was going to be (ok, not that much but I really didn’t want to clear all of the pots and pans out of my oven, studio-apartment-logic at its finest). So I thought about the flavors in a good borscht–beets, garlic, onion, dill and fresh sour cream–and how I could convert them into a dish that wouldn’t require hours of roasting in my oven. All of these ingredients would make a wonderful dumpling-like dish, except my belly wasn’t feeling a plateful of pasta. My solution? Use the beets as the “dough” and make a vegan ravioli filling using almond-based ricotta.
Here, the sweetness of the beets balances the salinity of the almond milk ricotta and, while it isn’t ravioli in the traditional sense, this dish does the trick. These beet “ravioli” even passed my fail-proof test: the guys. I had friends over and told them I was making beet ravioli for dinner–without explaining exactly what I meant (to be fair…they didn’t ask). When I served this dish I was met with a collective look of confusion followed by an “oh, beet ravioli”–these are not people who regularly eat plant-based food. These cheese loving, pasta gobbling folk enjoyed this variation on the classic dish and even came back for seconds.
Vegan Beet “Ravioli”
2 large beets, greens and skin removed
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 tsps. extra virgin olive oil
splash of lemon
1 container Kite Hill almond milk ricotta
1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill
fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Dairy-free sour cream, for garnish
Using a mandolin set to the thinnest setting slice your beets into rounds. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil, add the beet slices, and blanch until the beets are soft and pliable, about 5 minutes.
In a small skillet combine the garlic, shallots and one teaspoon of the olive oil and sautee on medium, until the onions soften and turn golden brown. Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining olive oil, lemon, almond milk ricotta, and chopped dill until well combined. Add the cooked garlic and shallot mixture and pepper and stir until well combined.
Place a beet round on a plate. Spoon one heaping teaspoon of the filling onto the middle of the round. Top with another beet slice, pushing down the edges so it sticks to the bottom layer of your “ravioli.” Top with a dollop of dairy- (or lactose) free sour cream and garnish with a dill sprig. Repeat until all of the beets and/or filling is used. Makes roughly 20 “raviolis”, serves 5.