I came up with this recipe when I wanted to make spinach ravioli, and had not enough spinach, but also had some beetroot with greens attached. I initially used a mix of spinach and the beet greens, but have moved towards not using spinach at all, and using all of the beetroot and beetroot greens. Of course, if you only have the beetroot itself, you could use a mix of beetroot and spinach.
This can also be used as a filling for cannelloni - I love making cannelloni, it's such a great change from lasagne, but has that same rich feeling to it.
2 to 3 medium beetroots, with greens
about 125 to 175g of extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed and pressed OR
250g silken tofu
1 to 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds (don't use cumin powder here - it's important to have the aniseed taste of the cumin burst every now and then, rather than all through the mixture)
about 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
about 1 tablespoon lemon juice
about 1 tablespoon vinegar
about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus another dash for cooking
garlic to taste, minced
shallots or onion to taste, minced (I prefer using shallots, to get the extra green bits!)
won ton wrappers (you can get these at most supermarkets - most of these are just flour and water, but make sure to check the ingredients list!)
garlic to taste, minced
chilli to taste, minced
2 x 400g cans of tomatoes
1 stock cube (I use Millel stock cubes - all vegetarian)
fresh or dried Italian herbs to taste
This is a really simple sauce - nice spicy, slightly sweet flavour, that complements the sweetness of the beetroot and slight spiciness of the cumin. So. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, and splash in some olive oil. Saute the garlic and chilli until fragrant, with the herbs if you're using dried. Add both the cans of tomatoes and about a can of water. Crumble in the stock cube at this point and, if you're using fresh herbs, about half of the herbs.
Leave to bubble on a medium heat - as it thickens and there is less liquid to be cooked off, lower the heat. If using fresh herbs, add the second half to the sauce just before serving.
If using extra firm tofu, chop into 1cm square cubes. Mix the nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar, and pour over the tofu. Allow to marinate for at least half an hour.
Put about 3cm of water into a saucepan, and place a steaming basket over it. Wash and peel the beetroot (your fingers and board and knife and workspace will get pink throughout this recipe. It's part of the fun!) Slice into 1 cm thick slices. Put the beetroot into the steaming basket, and steam until tender. You can simply boil the beetroot, but I like to steam it to retain more of the nutrients. If boiling, remember: start from cold (like potatoes) and add a little vinegar to the water to assist in maintaining the brilliant colour of the beetroot.
Wash the beetroot stems and leaves. Chop the stems finely, and roughly chop the leaves. When the beetroot is cooked and cooled, chop into 1cm square cubes.
Heat the dash of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the beetroot stems and toss quickly. Add half of the marinated tofu, and then half of the chopped beetroot. Throw in some cumin seeds until very fragrant - I like lots of cumin in mine, but it is a strong taste, so if you're unsure, put in less. You can also add a little of the herb that you used in the sauce - last time I made this, I used thyme in the sauce, and added a little to the ravioli mix alongside the cumin. It's another great way of blending the flavours. If you're using silken tofu, add it now.
Add the remaining tofu and beetroot (the tofu should be going a light pink by now!), and stir. If the addition of the tofu and beetroot has dampended the smell of the cumin, add some more cumin seeds to the mix.
Take off the heat, and stir through the roughly chopped beetroot leaves. Spread out onto a shallow bowl, and allow to cool.
Now, the fun part!! Making the ravioli!!
I tend to make mine like very simple dumplings. Hold the round won ton wrapper in the palm of your hand. Put about one to two teaspoons of the filling into the centre of the wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water, and press together. I tend to put ridges in my ravioli edges, but you can just press together and leave them flat.
Another way to do it, if you want to go the fancy pants 4 star restaurant way, is to place one won ton wrapper on a board. Put about a tablespoon of filling into the centre, and wet the edges of the wrapper with water. Get another wrapper, and wet the edges with water. Press the edes of both of the wrappers together, so you end up with a giant round ravioli.
Whichever method you use, they're going to look very pretty!!
When you've finished the ravioli, put about 3cm of water in a saucepan, and cover with a steaming basket. I steam my ravioli, because they fall about every time I try to put them into boiling water!! Steam until the won ton wrappers are clear and you can see the lovely pink beetroot inside.
Serve with the thick rich tomato sauce, and share and enjoy!