Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine Worthy Meal

I tend not to think too much about Valentine's day, whether I actually have a valentine or don't (this year I'm going solo). I think I have something against forced Hallmark holidays - shouldn't every day be Valentine's Day, showing those you love that you care about them?! Either way, the holiday and the long weekend got me thinking about happiness and gratitude...and of course food. And last night I found myself craving a dinner with a touch of love, comfort and sweetness. Feeding yourself and others can really be one of the most expressive ways to show how much you care. So with all that in mind, I decided to turn out something I normally wouldn't be attracted to. I'm usually a straight-up savory girl when it comes to meals, saving the sweet strictly for dessert. But the warm, cozy combo of freshly made ravioli from the greenmarket (I went for the spinach-ricotta filled to give more bite and a bit more veg), fresh sage, browned butter and butternut squash had me intrigued from the get-go. The merging of sweet-savory, healthy (butternut squash is jammed with antioxidants and vitamin A and is only 80 cals a cup) and a touch of indulgence with the butter seemed perfect for Valentine's. And it definitely was, freaking delish. I snuck a few walnuts in there for some additional antioxidants and healthy omega-3 fats. For your cooking and tasting pleasure, the recipe's below. Balance the buttery dish out and start your meal with this light winter salad to keep calories right on track and your V-day figure kicking.

Winter Salad with Walnuts & Piave
Serves 4
1 small head radicchio, 1 small head butter (or bibb), and 1 small endive
1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Piave cheese

Toss all ingredients but Piave together in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle Piave atop and serve. Done and done!

Ravioli with Sage, Brown Butter & Butternut Squash Puree
Serves 2
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
8 to 10 fresh-made ravioli – regular or spinach (I used the spinach ravioli from
Hudson Valley Farmhouse/Knoll Crest Farm, sold at the Union Square farmer’s market)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1.5 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
Piave or Parmesan cheese for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drizzle butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, mash squash until creamy.
Bring a pot of water to boil for ravioli.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium-low heat and add butter. Allow butter to brown slightly, add garlic and sage and cook 3 to 4 minutes.
Add butternut squash, milk, salt, pepper and walnuts to pan and stir until well-blended. Keep warm on low heat.
Cook ravioli for 3 to 5 minutes until done.
Arrange a thin circle of squash mixture on plates and top with 5 ravioli. Garnish with shaved Piave or Parmesan cheese.

1 comment:

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Reus Catalonia
thank you