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Beets for Valentine's Day

Jason and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day. No gifts, cards, or chocolates. Instead, we prefer to enjoy a really nice meal. Sometimes we splurge and eat out. But, since we had the Branson trip, we opted to eat in. I also vowed to stay off line, hence the delayed post. 

I had been wanting to try beets. Until this weekend at Ruby Tuesdays, I had never tried them. I thought they'd be perfect for a Valentine's dinner. I looked through lots of recipes and came up with my own version of Balsamic Beet Ravioli with Cannellini Puree. I served the "ravioli" over pureed cannellinni beans with balsamic reduction with smashed sweet potatoes and green beans sauteed with red onion, red bell pepper, portobellos, and garlic.

Balsamic Beet Ravioli with Cannellini Puree
Ingredients:
Beets sliced thinly 
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/8 - 1/4 cup rice milk
Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and grated nutmeg to taste
Balsamic vinegar (approximately 1/2 cup)

Directions:
Puree beans with milk and spices until creamy. Transfer to a sauce pan and heat through, adding more rice milk if necessary. 

In sauce pot, slowly simmer balsamic vinegar over low heat until sauce reduces. Be careful not to reduce too far as it will become too thick to drizzle.

To assemble, spread layer of bean puree on plate. Place beet slice down, top with nut cheeze and top with another beet. 
So, how was it you ask? It wasn't bad. But it definitely could have been improved had I practiced working with the beets. For starters, I don't have a mandolin so they weren't as thin as they needed to be. I think the next time that I make this dish (and I will), I will let the beets macerate in acidulated water to make them more pliable. I kept thinking that ravioli are served with a sauce or over a sauce of some sort. I struggled trying to come up with a suitable sauce for these ravioli. And I also got hung up trying to add in more protein. Though the ravioli filling is made with nuts... Anyway, the balsamic reduction worked great with the beets so I need to focus on that. I may try serving the ravioli over wilted spinach with the balsamic reduction the next time.

The bean puree, while very good, ended up having a consistency similar to mashed potatoes. In fact, I think that I may mix pureed white beans with my smashed sweet potatoes the next time I make them. All in all, it was really a great dish that I'll definitely revisit. I guess that's what cooking is really about, trying, testing, and tweaking.

Comments

  1. Your dinner looks beautiful. I agree a mandoline would have been useful. If you decide to buy one let me know. I have had two of them and can tell you want to look for when shopping for one.

    Glad you guys had a nice V-day together.

    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alicia @ Vegan Epicurean I'd definitely be curious to hear which mandolin you prefer. I think it would have helped tremendously.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Heather,

    My first mandoline was an OXO and it worked okay for about 5 years. The blade needed to be sharpened periodically but it was fine for slicing.

    Two years ago we bought a De Buyer from Williams Sonoma (that they don't carry now), because it also had a spiral cutter attachment. This mandoline is much easier to use, the blades are a better grade of steel and the has many more blade options.

    Some models are easier to take apart for cleaning than others. My DeBuyer is easy to clean, the OXO not as much.

    If you don't know how much you are going to use and don't want to spend $200 start with a less expensive model until you know it will be useful to you. The most important thing is how adjustable the cuts are and if the blade is removable so that it can be sharpened (we used our knife stone).

    When I got my first mandoline I didn't expect to use it much. But as I have become a better cook it has become more useful.

    If you have any questions I didn't cover please ask.

    talk to you later,
    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  4. A+ for creativity! Gorgeous plate.
    Glad you finally tried beets :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the A+ Sarah @ The Ordinary Vegetarian ! Glad I finally tried beets too!

    Alicia Thanks for the info!!

    ReplyDelete

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