Beetroot leaf and Ricotta Ravioli with Walnut Butter and Dill

Soooo I’m pretty sure this is a revolutionary recipe! I googled it and saw no other recipe the same! Pretty happy with myself over here.
I’d been eyeing off the beetroot powder in my local health food store for the last few months so I figured it was about time I used it in something! Upon googling it I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one tablespoon of the stuff has the nutritional equivalent to a whole beetroot!
I’’ve also recently discovered how easy it is to make your own ricotta, and have been loving using the beetroot leaves and stems in salads as well as the beetroot themselves. So, I thought I’d put it all together into one beautiful looking (and even better tasting) dish!

Beetroot Leaf and Ricotta Ravioli with Walnut Butter and Dill

Serves 8

Ingredients

Pasta dough

340g OOO flour
60g beetroot powder
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten, to seal ravioli

Ricotta

2 litres full fat organic milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup white vinegar

Filling
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed
2 bunches beetroot leaves and stems, finely sliced
1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, finely sliced
450g ricotta
150g parmesan, finely grated
Zest of 2 lemons
3 tsp sumac
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Sauce
200g butter
1/2 cup olive oil
150g walnuts, chopped

To serve
Bunch fresh dill tips
Fresh salad, such as lemon and white wine vinegar dressed rocket or finely sliced zucchini

Method

To make pasta dough, combine the flour, beetroot powder and salt. On a clean work surface, make a mound with the flour mixture, making a hole in the middle. Add the eggs into the middle. Using a fork, start to whisk the eggs, slowly incorporating the flour as you go. When it starts to get too thick, use your hands to combine. Knead the dough for about 10mins, until it becomes smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 30mins.
Meanwhile, to make the ricotta, heat the milk and salt over medium to high heat in a large saucepan, stirring often. When steaming, foaming, and just about to boil, take it off the heat and add the vinegar. Stir well, cover, and leave for 15mins. Pour into a muslin lined colander. Allow to strain for 20mins. Discard the whey. Take the curds from the muslin and refrigerate until needed.
To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, Add the garlic, beetroot leaves and kale. Cook, stirring often, for about 10mins or until soft and wilted. Remove from heat and cool.
In a bowl combine the ricotta, beetroot leaf mixture, parmesan, lemon zest, sumac, egg yolks and pepper.
Cut the pasta dough into quarters. Using a pasta machine roll out each piece until dial 2.
Place 1 tsp of filling at 2cm intervals along the dough. Brush seals with beaten egg. Top with pasta and press down around filling to get rid of any air. Use a knife or pasta cutter to cut ravioli. Place ravioli on baking paper until all of it is done.
To make the sauce, heat the butter and olive oil in a pan over medium, high heat. Stirring often, cook until butter is melted and starting to brown, about 15mins. Add the walnuts and continue to cook for another 5mins.
To cook the ravioli, bring a large saucepan water to the boil. Add the ravioli. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 mins, or until cooked. Strain and then pour into a large bowl. Immediately add the walnut butter sauce and stir to combine.
Spoon into serving bowls, top with dill and serve alongside your choice of fresh salad.

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Charred Avocado, Cucumber, Radish and Chickpea Salad

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Here is a recipe for an impressive but simple salad that would serve well as a nice lunch with some white wine or to take to a barbecue. It’s perfect on it’s own but would also go really well with some grilled chicken or salmon. Crusty bread would also go well on the side.
I used to talk about stuff on this blog about life and inspiration. But, at the moment, I have nothing interesting to say. And I’m sure no-one cares anyway. However, if you do, I’d love some feedback.
Hope you like the salad.

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Recipe
Serves 4
Ingredients
2 avocados
Lemon oil for grilling
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
5 baby cucumbers, finely sliced on a mandolin
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Handful of fresh dill sprigs
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Crusty bread to serve (optional)
Method
Heat a grill pan over high heat. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the seed and cut each half into thirds. Peel away the skin. Brush the avocado with the lemon oil and place, cut side down, on the hot grill pan. Grill each cut side for about 2 mins, or until blackened lines appear. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard and some salt and pepper in a tightly sealed jar and shake well to combine.
To serve, arrange the avocado, radishes, cucumbers and chickpeas on a platter. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the dill.
Enjoy!

Breakfast for a (complicated) Crowd. Potato and Caper Rösti with Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs, Caramalized Onion, Fennel Salad, Avocado and Crème Fraîche.

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I’ve had this recipe waiting in the wings for a couple of months now. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast where you sit around for so long afterwards that you don’t end up getting the dishes done until lunchtime.

I made it for some of my family while visiting them in Brisbane, it happened to be Fathers’ Day, and while my own dad was 800km down the coast, I was with his brother, my Uncle, who thought it was quite funny that I was cooking breakfast for him on Fathers’ Day instead of my own Dad. Photo messages ensued…

I didn’t get time to post it before I hit the dusty road across the top end, and while I did get reception a couple of times and could’ve posted it, it felt wrong to upload such clean looking photos when in reality everything we ate was covered in a thin layer of dust.

But, I’m in darwin now, sitting in an air-conditioned room and feeling pretty good about it.

The night before I made this breakfast I had a very interrupted sleep, waking every couple of hours to another idea of what to cook for my Uncle (a retired chef), my Aunty (a coeliac), and my cousin (a vegetarian). I wanted to be able to please everyone whilst still being able to share the same meal. This big, fresh, tasty breakfast was the result and it went down a treat. And it was relatively quick and easy with an impressive result. Invite some friends over this weekend, brew some coffee, and spoil them with this delicious spring inspired big breakfast, guaranteed you won’t leave the table till it’s time for lunch.

Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 4

Olive oil (keep the bottle on hand to use for a few things)

1 kg washed potatoes, grated

110g jar baby capers, drained

1 bunch dill, leaves picked, chopped

3 red onions, thinly sliced (a mandolin is ideal)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 small fennel, white parts thinly sliced and fronds picked

Bunch parsley, leaves picked

2 lemons

10 free range eggs

200ml cream

20g butter

200g smoked salmon

1 large avocado

small tub creme fraiche

salt and pepper

Method

For the caramelised onion, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 10mins or until they are quite soft. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper and stir to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook for another 20-30mins, stirring often, until thick and jam like. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

For the potato rosti, pre-heat oven to 100 degrees Celcius. Working with a handful at a time, squeeze as much moisture out of the grated potato as possible. In a clean bowl combine the dry potato with the capers, half of the chopped dill and some salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Use about 1/4 cup of potato mixture per rosti. Press down each rosti with the back of a spatula into a roundish shape about 7mm thick. Don’t overcrowd the pan or flipping will be difficult. Cook for about 5 mins per side or until golden and starting to go crunchy around the edges. Transfer to a lined oven tray, without stacking too much (to prevent them going soggy), and keep warm in the oven.

For the fennel salad, in a large bowl, gently toss together the fennel slices and fronds, parsley, remaining dill, juice of 1 lemon and some salt and pepper.

At this point, before cooking the eggs, get everything else out and ready on the table. Slice the avocado and sprinkle with salt and pepper, slice the remaining lemon, put the caramelised onion and creme fraiche in bowls and arrange the smoked salmon on a plate.

For the scrambled eggs, whisk the eggs in a large bowl along with the cream and some pepper. Melt the butter in a large frying pan along with a dash of olive oil over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook, stirring slowly with a wooden spoon until just starting to set. Remove from heat. The eggs will continue to cook for a little while as you get  the rest of the food and everyone to the table.

Enjoy!