Friday, June 4, 2010

Beautylicious Food

Chef Katie, have I told you lately how much I love you?

This is the salad we had for lunch the other day - I almost couldn't eat it it was so beautiful! The contrast between the flower blossoms, the green greens and the pink red radishes was quite photogenic. The crew gobbled it up, along with the delicious Sweet & Sour Chuck Roast with Bok Choi, Yukina Savoy, Green Garlic & Potato Onions on Brown Rice.

Presentation, presentation, presentation!
Then for dinner that night, we started with her Asparagus & Oyster Ravioli, adapted from Sarma Melngailis' RAW FOOD real world cookbook:

For the asparagus & porcini filling:
1 small bunch thin asparagus
1/2 pound cleaned wild mushroom (Katie used Oyster, but porcini, chanterelle, shitaki or a combination of them will work)
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP fresh thyme
1 TBSP minced fresh rosemary
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
-Cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch lengths, on a bias, discarding the woody ends. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces. In a medium bowl, toss the asparagus and mushrooms with the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Spread out on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 F for 2-3 hours, or until they are tender and taste like they've been sautéed.

For the lemon cream:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more (Katie used hazelnuts)
1 cup water
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP raw honey
1 TBSP lemon zest
(Katie added 2 TBSP coconut oil to this part, since she subbed Kohlrabi for the coconut meat coming up later in the recipe, but still wanted the coconut taste)
Sea salt
-In a Vita-Mix or high-speed blender, puree the cashews, water, lemon juice, honey, and lemon zest (& coconut oil) until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Transfer the sauce to a bowl or covered container.

To make the balsamic-fig puree:

4-5 large fresh black mission figs, or rehydrated dried figs
1/2 cup high quality aged balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
-In a Vita-Mix of high-speed blender, puree the figs and the balsamic vinegar until completely smooth. Season with salt and transfer to a squeeze bottle or covered container and set aside. Refrigerate if not using right away, for up to a few days.
For the assembly:
4 young coconuts (more or less depending on their yield) ***Katie subbed Kohlrabi for this ingredient. She used one of each color & had leftovers, so one will do.
1 small handful chopped raw almonds, preferably soaked & rehydrated
2 teaspoons almond oil or other cold-pressed oil
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Baby chervil or other fine herbs for garnish (optional)
1)With a cleaver, chop the top off the young coconuts. Reserve or drink the coconut water. Using the back of a spoon, carefully remove the meat from the top and the inside of the coconut, trying to keep the meat in large pieces as much as possible when removing it (it the meat is too soft, use it for a shake, and try your luck with the next coconut!) Cut the meat into 2-inch squares and slice the squares lengthwise as thinly as possible with a very sharp filleting knife. You should have 24 squares. Save any coconut meat scraps for shakes. Set the coconut squares aside, or refrigerate if using right away.
**Katie's step #1) Thinly slice the kohlrabi

2)Dip the coconut (or kohlrabi) ravioli squares in the lemon cream to coat well, and place three on each of 4 plates, at three points. Sauce the plates with the balsamic-fig puree so that some of the sauce will end up inside the raviolis. Top each coconut (or kohlrabi) square with about a tablespoon of the mushroom and asparagus mixture and cover with another coconut (or kohlrabi) square, also dipped in the sauce. Spoon a bit of the remaining lemon sauce over each ravioli. Top again with a bit of the mushroom and asparagus mixture.

3)In a small bowl, toss the chopped almonds with almond oil and season with coarse sea salt. Sprinkle each ravioli with the chopped almond mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper, and garnish with herbs, if desired.

yum. She served that delight with the recipe from this week's CSA newsletter, Grilled Spring Vegetables with Peanut Sauce, served over millet. We also got to try the stalks of the Egyptian Walking Onions, stuffed with Butler Farms' Herbed Tome cheese. OMG yum.