by Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein
(Ten Speed Press, 2003)
This stunning preparation, which can be adjusted for serving as an appetizer or a main dish, is actually quite simple to make. The herbed cheese filling melts away to a divine creaminess that is balanced by the mild, barely crunchy radish pieces. Diced yellow tomatoes, marinated in olive oil, act as the sauce and provide a complementary acidic note. For a different textural effect, process the tomato sauce in a high-speed blender.—Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein
For the cashew cheese
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 10 to 12 hours in filtered water and drained
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Rejuvelac (the fermented liquid that is drained from sprouted grains, usually rye or wheat berrie; available in health food stores)
Dash Celtic sea salt
For the herb cheese
1 cup Cashew Cheese
4 teaspoons filtered water
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon large flake nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
For the ravioli
40 very thin slices peeled bleeding heart radish, each at least 2 1/4 inches in diameter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Celtic sea salt
1 1/4 cups Herb Cheese
2 large very ripe yellow tomatoes, seeded and cut into medium dice
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons fresh opal basil flowers or micro leaves
Make the cashew cheese
1. In a high-speed blender or a Champion juicer with the blank plate in place, process the cashews until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Rejuvelac and salt, mixing well. Line a sieve with a double thickness of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Transfer the mixture to the sieve, drape the cheesecloth over the top, and leave in a warm place to ripen for 12 hours. Remove the cheese from the cloth-lined sieve.
2. Shape the mixture into a round, place in a covered container, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or until it firms up. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cheese can also be purchased at roxraw.com.
Make the herb cheese
1. Combine the Cashew Cheese, water, shallot, lemon juice, yeast, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the basil and thyme until evenly distributed. Taste and adjust with additional salt, if needed. Use immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make the ravioli
1. Use a 2-inch ring mold to cut each radish slice into a perfect round. Rub the radish slices with the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt. Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese in the center of half of the radish slices. Carefully place a second radish slice on top of the spoonful of cheese and gently press the outer edges together to create a seal.
2. Repeat to make 20 ravioli in all.
3. Combine the tomatoes, chives, olive oil, and vinegar in a bowl and mix gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the dish
Using a slotted spoon, spoon one-fourth of the tomato mixture into the center of each plate. Arrange 5 ravioli over the tomatoes, overlapping them slightly. Spoon some of the juices from the tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with the basil flowers.
Wine notes: There are a number of good possibilities here. Sangiovese springs to mind when tasting this dish because it is one of the few red wines that is not flabby when paired with the racy acidity of tomatoes. Isole e Olena Chianti is a light-bodied, fruity red that slices nicely through the richness of the herbed cheese. During peak season, when tomatoes are at their sweetest and ripest, a Barbera from Vietti or Dolcetto d’Alba from Pio Cesare would be a magical choice.
Recipe © 2003 Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein.. All rights reserved.