24 March 2014
Ravioli with super garlic butter greens
It's spring! I don't know about you, but I want as many vegetables as I can possibly get my hands on. So I went to the farmer's market and came home with two bunches of kale, one of chard, a big bag of spinach, and a bunch of beets with beautiful tops. All the greens in the land!
And what's the best way to make greens the star of the show? Keep them simple and abundant. So I chopped up some chard, spinach and beet greens, sauteed them quickly with garlic, and finished them with butter and parsley.
It's almost ridiculously easy to make a mess of greens into a full meal. A poached or fried egg on top would be classic, as would a sliced and browned sausage or a slab of seared marinated tempeh. But I wanted pasta, so I decided I would mix my greens with a bag of local ravioli that I'd stashed in the freezer for just such an occasion. Such a perfect combination with a huge pile of garlicky, butter-drenched greens.
This is a particularly quick and easy way to stuff your face with all the freshest and best spring vegetables. It took about fifteen minutes for me to go from zero to lunch. Perfect.
Ravioli with garlic-sauteed greens
frozen ravioli or other pasta
butter or olive oil
mixed spring greens (chard, beet, & spinach, or your choice of others)
salt, pepper, maybe a few red pepper flakes if you want them
Start by putting a pot of water on to boil for your pasta. Let it heat while you start your veg, and cook your ravioli at an appropriate point in the proceedings. Obviously, although ravioli is great, you can also switch it out for any kind of pasta you like.
Smash and chop as many cloves of garlic as you like. I used five or six for about two servings of pasta, because that's how I roll.
Saute your garlic in butter or olive oil in a wide saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. While it's cooking, wash, trim, and chop up all your greens. Since I was using chard and beet greens, I cut off their stems and chopped them separately from the leaves. Use as many greens as you can possibly cram into your pan, because they will wilt and reduce in size dramatically. I probably used around four or five cups.
When your garlic has started to turn slightly golden, add your chopped stems to the pan, along with a pinch of salt. Turn the heat up slightly and saute for about five minutes, or until the stems have softened. Then add all your greens to the pan. You may need to do this in a couple batches, letting the first batch start to wilt before adding the second. Saute gently for about five more minutes, or until all your greens have wilted into a vivid green (and possibly also pink) mass.
By this point your pasta should be done, so drain it and add it to the greens. Season with salt and pepper and mix together gently. Then turn off the heat and add a pat of butter or a few drips of olive oil to the pan. Stir a few times to let the butter melt and distribute it evenly. Done!
Serve your ravioli in massive piles and garnish them with fresh parsley and a grind or two of pepper. If you want to add any more garnishes, go for it. Parmesan cheese, chopped toasted almonds, or even some crispy golden breadcrumbs would work well here, but resist the urge to go too far. The freshness of the greens will make them shine pretty beautifully on their own.
Springiest lunch ever!
How are you eating all your spring greens?