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Nov 01, 2014
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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By the Book: Dirt Candy’s Radish Ravioli

January 22nd 07:01pm, 2013

If you love to be creative and cook vegetarian food at home, the cookbook Dirt Candy by Amanda Cohen, Ryan Dunlavey and Grady Hendrix is awesome. These vegetarian recipes are not your average; they’re completely creative and give you a plethora of technique in order to treat vegetables so that they’re not just roasted – they’re smoked, spherified, pickled and poached. The recipes call for fun, off-the-beaten-path ingredients too, like huitlacoche cream, kimchi and galangal.




This book is really unlike most cookbooks out there. First of all, there are no photographs. None. There are all black and white line drawings illustrating how to execute each recipe, including a drawing of what the finished product should look like. It’s like a foodie-graphic novel, if you will. Also, the writers don’t format recipes the way that most cookbooks do. Many of the steps are actually illustrated and supplemented with text to help guide the reader through the recipe because some of the techniques are a little difficult to understand and some of the assembly instructions are pretty specific, so this is actually helpful. Text alone might be slightly confusing.



Before grocery shopping for a recipe, you should read it really carefully. The way the book presents ingredients needed for the recipe is a bit disorganized. There is a great set of drawings at the top of each recipe, which illustrate the main components of the dish. Then there’s a list of ingredients in text, which (sort of) detail the specifics of how to make the individual components listed at the top. For example, in the radish ravioli recipe below, the drawings are daikon radish ravioli skin, ravioli filling, lemon corn sauce and radish salad, but in the text list of ingredients, there’s no mention of the lemon corn sauce and what you need to make it.



You have to remember to look at the drawing and see the page number that the recipe for the sauce is listed on. In short, there are a lot of recipes in one recipe and everything you need is not listed in one place, which means that there’s a lot of flipping back and forth between several recipes to make one dish. This brings me back to my original point, read carefully, then shop. With a little patience, anyone can appreciate the originality of these recipes … vegetarian or not.

Radish Ravioli with Lemon Corn Sauce
Serves 4

For the ravioli:

½ cup Sicilian or plain pistachios
1 cup radish tops
½ cup chopped red radish
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
20 thin slices daikon radish*
1 extra-large egg
Basic Batter with panko (recipe follows)
Lemon Corn Sauce (recipe follows)

* I used a parsnip instead of a daikon radish.

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Toast the pistachios until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. (I bought roasted pistachios, so I skipped this step.)
• Blanch and shock the radish tops, then chop them.
• Pulse the pistachios in the food processor until they’re crumbled and the size of fish-tank gravel. Add the blanched radish tops, red radish, olive oil, garlic, ricotta, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and pulse until the mixture is a chunky paste.
• Peel a daikon radish; slice it into thin rounds on a mandolin. You should be able to see the shadow of your fingers through it.
• Lay pieces of daikon on the counter or a baking sheet.
• Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of each piece of daikon.
• Paint the rim of the daikon slice with an egg wash (1 beaten extra-large egg, plus 1 tablespoon of water).
• Place a second piece of daikon over the daikon with filling and press the edges to seal. You’ve got a ravioli!
• Dip the ravioli in Basic Batter. Dredge it in panko crumbs.
• Deep-fry or pan fry the raviolis until the outside is golden and crisp, about 2 minutes if deep-frying and 3 minutes on each side if pan frying.



To serve:

• Bring Lemon Corn Sauce to a simmer in a pan, and then pour it onto the plate until it’s covered, but not too deep (unless you like your ravioli super saucy). Place the raviolis down next. They can be warm but not hot out of the pan.



Basic Batter with panko:
Makes 2 cups

1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup seltzer water or beer
2 cups panko
2 tsp. salt (or other seasonings as indicated)

• In a bowl, mix together the flour and seltzer to form a smooth batter.
• Pulse the panko a few times in a food processor. Add salt and pulse once or twice to combine. Transfer to a bowl.



Lemon Corn Sauce
Makes 2 cups

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 cups Radish Stock, or other stock (I just used water)
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
Salt to taste

• In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, and then add the remaining ingredients, salting to taste. Cook until the corn is soft, about 5 minutes.
• Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool slightly. Pour into a blender and blend.
• Push through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer to remove chunks. Salt to taste and serve.

The sauce will keep covered in the fridge for up to a week.

Reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter Publishers

What’s your favorite, creative vegetarian dish to make at home? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Dirt Candy. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Dan D.’s whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won him a copy of The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Dan, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

By Meera Nagarajan

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3 Responses to “By the Book: Dirt Candy’s Radish Ravioli”

  1. Sue Steffen Says:
    January 22nd, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Lentils & Sweet Potatoes:
    1/2 SWEET ONION, DICED
    3 GARLIC CLOVES (OR MORE), MINCED
    1 TABLESPOON FRESH GINGER, PEELED & MINCED
    1/2-1 SWEET POTATO, PEELED AND DICED
    1/2 RED (yellow, orange) PEPPER, DICED [haven't tried with hot pepper, but might be really good!]
    1 TABLESPOON OLIVE OIL
    1-2 TABLESPOONS TOMATO PASTE (depending on how much tomato taste you want.. 1 1/2 TBLSP was good for us)
    2 TABLESPOONS LENTILS (OR A BIT MORE IS DESIRED)
    1 CUP WATER (OR VEGETABLE OR CHICKEN/BEEF BROTH for extra flavor…broth tastes better than water)
    3/4 TEASPOON PAPRIKA (SMOKED ADDS REALLY GOOD FLAVOR)
    1/4 TEASPOON GROUND ALLSPICE
    1/4 TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON
    1/4 TEASPOON FENUGREEK (OMIT IF YOU CAN’T FIND IT IN YOUR LOCAL STORE)
    1/4 TEASPOON GROUND GINGER
    SALT/PEPPER/SOY SAUCE TO TASTE
    Saute onion, garlic & sweet potato in olive oil until onion is slightly translucent.
    Add diced peppers, cook 1 minute.
    Add lentils & TOMATO PASTE, paprika & other spices.
    Bring to a boil…
    Lower heatm simmer until water (broth) is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
    Add salt, black pepper, and soy sauce as needed to taste.
    Very good recipe that I recently found online….. my 16 yr old LOVES it!!!

  2. Cherie Says:
    January 23rd, 2013 at 1:46 am

    I hate to say that my favorite vegetarian dish would be homemade vegetarian pizza. Spinach, mushrooms, kale, onions, olives, peppers, tomatoes, and other veggies I’m looking to use up before they wilt. It may not be the most creative, but it’s different every time!

  3. katie meyers Says:
    January 23rd, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I love a good root vegetable tart – especially with just a bit of fennel. There’s something about the way that the fennel and the butter play against each other that’s just marvelous.

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