Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Raw" Turnip Ravioli with Scallion-Asparagus Cashew Cheese

Hi everyone! My name is Angela Salvucci, and I’m a raw food chef & instructor. I do private instruction & coaching on a raw food diet/lifestyle, as well as very unique in-home demos and dinner parties, and I also work with Fresh Thymes Café in Wilmington (a CSA share pickup location!) with raw lunch entrees on Thursdays, and completely raw, vegan (and gluten free!) dinners about once a month.

I have been so thrilled to pick up my CSA shares this spring, and I look forward to blogging about all of the awesome, fresh food I create with the gorgeous veggies. I also blog at my website,, if you are interested in recipes beyond those made with the CSA items.

So, what the heck is raw food, anyway? First off, it’s entirely plant-based – just fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and some sprouted grains. Then, nothing is prepared above 112 degrees (or so!), which preserves all of the enzymes and nutrients in the food. With enzymes and nutrients intact, your food delivers maximum digestibility and a top-notch nutritional punch – will all of the amazing flavor nature intended! Proponents point to a raw or “living” diet as potentially healing, aiding in weight loss, and helping your body maintain optimal pH to stay disease-free. I eat this way because it makes me feel great…and it is delicious!

So let’s get to the food…today I created just about the cutest ravioli ever, and they were a lot quicker than traditional ravioli, because the shell is…turnips! The teeny harukei turnips that came in my half share this week, thinly sliced, made great ravioli shells, and I used my asparagus and scallions, blended into a cashew “cheese” as a filling – yum!

Ravioli shells:
1 small bunch turnips (beets work, too!)

Asparagus-Scallion Cheese
1 cup raw cashews
½ bunch of asparagus
1 large scallion
A medium lemon
Seas salt & black pepper, to taste

Simple Parsley Pesto
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste

First, soak 1 cup of raw cashews in fresh water for at least an hour (if you forgot this step, don’t worry! You may just need to add more water later on).

Next, make your pesto: in a food processer (I like a small one for this job), combine parsley, oil, salt and pepper until mostly smooth. You’ll still be able to see specks of parsley. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour into a small bowl and set to the side.

Drain cashews. In the same food processer (don’t bother washing it, we’re going to add a little pesto, anyway!), combine cashews with 2 tablespoons lemon juice (you lemon will likely contain 3 or so, depending on its size), a teaspoon of lemon zest, half a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of fresh black pepper. Add ¼ to ½ cup of water SLOWLY, until your mix resembles a thick but smooth ricotta cheese, pausing to scrape down sides. Add ½ of the thick, white part of the scallion, blend in, and adjust salt, pepper and lemon to taste.

Slice your asparagus crosswise into thin rounds, about 1/8 of an inch, reserving the tops. In a small bowl, combine cashew cheese mixture with 2/3 of a cup of asparagus and the remainder of the white portion of your scallion, finely chopped.

Now, slice your turnips into very thin rounds. I use a spiral slicer, which makes long, thin connected ribbons, that I break apart and piece back into circles. You could also use a mandoline, or a very sharp knife (watch your fingers!) or even a potato peeler. Try to get the slices less than 1/8 of an inch, closer to 1/16.

Arrange a dozen or so turnip slices on a dinner plate. Top each with ½ teaspoon of the cashew-asparagus mixture, and top with another turnip slice. Press down lightly – don’t worry if some cheese leaks out the sides. Repeat with remaining turnip slices and cheese (this recipe will make 4-5 dozen). Drizzle parsley pesto on ravioli (covering up any slices or holes in the turnip with a little dollop of sauce), and garnish with reserved asparagus spears. As I like to say…raw appétit! Please feel free to email me at with any questions!

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