Not just amazing because they love and support me (which is awesome), but amazing because they are saving the world. There’s my friend Jen, for example, who is a partner in Green Circle Salons, a company which collects hair from salons and then turns them into booms which absorb oil when there are spills.
And then there’s Leanne. Her family has owned and run Ridge Meadows Recycling since 1972. They’ve been keeping stuff out of the landfill for 44 years! Leanne is also a big proponent of her local Haney Farmer’s Market, and a player in the local community theatre. Did I mention RMRS gives jobs to people with developmental disabilities?
Yeah, these are the people I am very proud to call my friends.
With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to share with you my veganized version of Leanne’s Roasted Carrot & Garlic dip.
Now, you gotta know by now I love hummus, but it had never occurred to me that I could make a dip out of roasted carrots! I was intrigued. So I tried it, and boy, was it good!
Here is my own spin on her original recipe. It’s vegan, and I added cumin to the mix. This would make the perfect dip to serve at your Halloween party–in fact, I’ll be making a vat to take to our own Halloween party this weekend.
Leanne and I rocking the safety vests!
Roasted Carrot Dip (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
3 large carrots peeled and cut into coins
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin or cumin seeds
salt and pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and bashed
2 tbsp chickpeas
1/4 cup carrot juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp toasted cumin seeds for garnish
1. In a medium-sized bowl, place the carrots, peeled garlic, vegetable oil, salt and pepper and cumin. Toss well to coat.
2. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and then into a pre-heated 425 degree (220°C) oven for about 20 minutes, until crispy around the edges.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough so that you can handle them.
4. Once they have cooled enough, place them in the bowl of your blender along with the chickpeas, carrot juice, olive oil, tahini, and rice wine vinegar. Blend well until it is smooth, scraping down the sides if need be. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
5. Scrape into a bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and cumin seeds that have been dry-roasted in a cast-iron frying pan. Serve warm with tortilla or pita chips or crackers.
In general, I’m a pretty experimental gal. It’s my policy, when having dinner at a new restaurant, to order the craziest thing on the menu, and in the kitchen, I like to challenge myself to make new dishes I’ve never made before. This becomes more challenging when those dishes require some technique.
Writing the cookbook took this “challenging myself” thing to a whole different level. I was suddenly called upon to create recipes with a brand-new ingredient I didn’t know a ton about, about which there was very little information online, and that required me to learn some new techniques as well (I failed at making macarons 50 times).
But there’s nothing quite like the rush of figuring something out for the first time. It feels, I imagine, like planting your flag on the summit of Everest.
One of the recipes in my book is for a homemade vegan pasta. I figured the recipe out for that one pretty quick, actually, and I was quite happy with it. But I don’t own a pasta maker, so the first time I made it, I just rolled out the pasta with a rolling pin. It’s hard to get it thin enough that way.
I have to give it back (even though I don’t want to–I think I might be time to invest in one of my own), but before I did, I wanted to attempt to make ravioli.
I’ve never made ravioli. Ever.
This time of the year begs for squash, pumpkin… gourds of all kinds. They make a perfect ravioli filling, as their subtle sweetness plays well off of the pasta.
The final result? Delicious. Though not entirely pretty. I believe in the industry, they would call these “rustic.” 😉
I need a few more goes and maybe a proper ravioli cutter (a round cookie cutter would have done the trick) to get these looking professional, but they tasted amazing.
I have a ton of sage right now, so I finished these really simply in a frying pan with butter, fried sage and shavings of pecorino.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage
5 large eggs
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for kneading by hand and while rolling pasta)
pinch of salt
1 cup peeled and cubed pumpkin or squash
1/2 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
2-3 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh sage
1/4 cup butter
pecorino or similar cheese
1. To make the pasta, crack the eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
2. Turn mixer to speed 4, and then whisk until smooth.
3. Remove whisk attachment and replace with the dough hook.
4. Add 1 cup of flour and turn mixer on to speed 2.
5. While the mixer is running, add the flour in ½ cup at a time.
6. Once all the flour is added and the dough has formed a ball on the dough hook, knead for 2 minutes.
7. Remove dough from the mixer and place on a floured work surface. Knead by hand for 2 more minutes.
9. This step is VERY important: wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 1/2 hour.
10. Prepare the filling: place the peeled and cubed squash or pumpkin in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover them with water, and season with a pinch of salt. Place on the stove and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer until the pumpkin is soft. *NOTE* you could just use a cup of pumpkin puree for this step if you wanted to skip this. Drain the pumpkin and mash well, or push it through a ricer or a food mill for the best results.
11. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, place 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of EVOO. Place the garlic in and stir well. Don’t allow the garlic to burn. Add a half dozen chopped sage leaves and the nutmeg as well. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pureed pumpkin to this, and season well with salt and pepper. Mix well and allow for any extra water to evaporate. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool so you can handle/work with it.
12. Once the pasta has rested, remove it from the plastic wrap and divide into 4 sections. Roll each section out roughly with your rolling pin, then begin to run each section through your pasta roller. Start at zero and work your way up, one number at a time, passing the pasta through each time, to 6.
13. Lay your sheets of pasta on a large work surface. Using a teaspoon, dot the pumpkin filling at regular 2″ intervals all the way down. Using a pastry brush, brush water around each blob of pumpkin, then lay a second sheet of pasta on top. Using a round cookie cutter or a pizza cutter, cut each ravioli out. Carefully push out any air pockets, and then seal the edges of each one by crimping with your fingers.
14. Place the ravioli on a floured baking sheet until you have them all done.
15. Bring a large, well-salted pot of water to boil, and heat up your frying pan again over medium heat, this time adding 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of EVOO. Drop the ravioli individually into the boiling water, and allow them to cook. Don’t crowd the pan, just cook maybe 6-10 at a time. This will take 4-6 minutes. Once they are cooked, pull them from the water with a slotted spoon, and drop them into the warmed frying pan with the butter & EVOO. Add some sage leaves and allow them to cook for 3-5 minutes more and get all coated in butter and yumminess.
16. Remove to a plate and top with the melted butter. Shave cheese overtop. Repeat with remaining ravioli.