Over the weekend, Kaylie and I participated in Social Bites, a local Vancouver foodie community event pioneered by one very creative and engaging German. (I also posted about it before it happened.) Anyway, it went pretty well – it was a tight race, between us, The Vegan Project, Julie Beyer, and non-vegan winning chef and Kiwi Michael Robertson. We won second-place, though not by much. At the request of a few of our guests and co-competitors, here are the recipes.
I wish I had better photos of the food, but I’m hoping to snag some off of Hilary. It’s not necessarily about how it looks, though it was beautiful.
Root Vegetable Ravioli
I chose to use three different root vegetables – turnip, yam, and celeriac.
1 celery root (celeriac)
2 small turnips
2 small yams
1/2 fennel root
1 tbsp maple syrup
Salt & pepper
I used the same pasta recipe I’ve used in the past, but this time I split the dry ingredients into three equal parts so that I could use three different liquids. Splitting the recipe into thirds meant that for each third of the dry ingredients I needed 55mL of liquid. I wanted red, orange, and green ravioli to match my ingredients. I boiled the water, and while it was boiling, grated half a beet, half a carrot, and grabbed a handful of spinach. I measured 55mL of water and poured it over the grated beets in one bowl, then did the same with the carrot in another bowl. I let the water steep for a good half-hour, then squeezed the rest of the colour out of the grated veg. For the spinach-water, I blended it up to ensure that the colour would be bold. I then mixed together three different small batches of dough, kneaded them, rolled them out, and then wrapped them in plastic wrap so they wouldn’t dry out.
For the fillings, I cut two turnips, one celery root, and two small yams in half and placed them cut-side down on an oiled baking pan. I roasted them for 40 minutes, then removed the yam and added about 1/3 of a fennel root, and roasted for another 10 minutes, at which point I removed the turnip. The celeriac needed a bit more time, and I left the fennel in there until it was caramelized. You can judge this based on how soft your root vegetables are. Obviously, you should roast your vegetables while you make your pasta dough.
Once they were roasted I carved them out with a spoon and mashed each individual vegetable in its own bowl. (So many bowls!) To the yam, I added olive oil, salt, and pepper. To the turnip, I added chopped roasted fennel, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and olive oil. To the celeriac, I added fresh lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper.
At this point I had to make the ravioli. I’ve already written a guide on how to do this, so follow it there.
After I had made the ravioli, I froze them in layers separated by parchment paper, and cooked them the next day by boiling them until they floated (about three minutes) and then lightly panfrying them in a lightly oiled pan.
This was the element of the meal that people commented on most. It was super easy!
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 – 4 shallots, depending on size
10 – 15 button mushrooms, brown and/or white (I used both)
1 cube veg or mushroom bouillon
1/2 tsp rosemary powder
Blend up the cashews with about an equal amount of water until it resembles a creamy paste.
Peel and slice the shallots. Saute in oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until soft. Add mushrooms, chopped into small cubes. Add bouillon cube. Let it saute until mushrooms are soft and release their liquid. Add rosemary and pepper and continue sauteeing. Once the mushrooms have released all of their liquid (ten minutes?), add the contents of the saucepan to your cashew mixture in the blender, and blend until creamy – this might take a while and you might need to shake it up or spatula it a bit.
Once it’s blended, return it to the saucepan and keep it warm on low heat until ready to serve.
Duo of Tapenades
“Tapenade” is an olive spread that often contains anchovies, so watch out if you ever buy it in the store. Luckily, it is very easy to make.
Kalamata and Caper Tapenade
15 – 20 kalamata olives, pitted
1 – 2 tbsp capers, drained
Salt and pepper
If your kalamata olives come packed in oil, use that to lubricate your tapenade. If not, use olive oil. If you can’t find pitted olives, get ready to get your hands dirty. Pitting them is not hard but it is time consuming. Blend all ingredients together using a blender of some kind. Taste and adjust. Remember that the flavours will mingle the longer it sits.
Mixed Olive and Roasted Tomato Tapenade
5 – 7 black olives, pitted
5 – 7 green olives, pitted
5 – 7 kalamata olives, pitted
3 campari tomatoes or 5 cherry tomatoes
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (sparing)
Roast them tomatoes! Toss them in a small amount of olive oil and salt & pepper them, then throw them in the oven at 350 for about ten minutes. Keep an eye – you want them to pop, but not burn. Chop up all your olives, and then chop the tomatoes too when they come out. They will be messy. Mix everything together and add lemon juice or salt & pepper, plus a dash more oil if you can – I like to use the oil that the olives come packed in. Let it sit in the fridge for a little while so the flavours will settle before you use it.
I presented the dish by swiping a bit of the kalamata and caper tapenade on the plate, then placing one ravioli of each colour on top. I then added a spoonful of the chopped tapenade and a generous drizzle of mushroom cream on top of the ravioli. On the side, we put a handful of arugula that had been tossed in black truffle olive oil, garnished with a slice each of red and golden beet (that we had boiled and cooled) and thinly sliced radish.