Recipe of the Week: Spring Nettle Ravioli

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Recipes for Seattlemag.com's Recipe of the Week are contributed by participating chefs, cookbook authors and food bloggers.

Name of Recipe: Spring Nettle Ravioli (on Cafe Flora's menu this spring, starting mid-March)

Source of Recipe: Cafe Flora

Why We Love This Recipe: Nettles are the first spring ingredient we cook with at Cafe Flora and for us it's the exciting first sign of spring! We love this recipe for its complimenting flavors of hearty vegan ravioli, creamy cashew sauce and tangy, crunchy Jerusalem Artichoke salad. It's been a guest favorite each spring for the last few years! 

Cafe Flora Spring Nettle Ravioli Recipe Ingredients

½ pound nettles (Forged and Found is a good source, or you can put some gloves on and forage for them yourself!)
¼ cup walnuts
½ yellow onion 1 bunch kale (we like Lacianato but any variety will work)
1 teaspoon olive oil plus 1 tablespoon, separated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 fresh pasta sheets (depending on size)
3 teaspoons egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons water
1 recipe of Cashew Cream Sauce
1 recipe of Petite Radish and Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and blanch nettles for 30 seconds being careful that you don’t touch them!
2. Refresh the nettles in an ice cold water bath and then (now that their stinging power is gone) pick off the woody stems.
3. Toast walnuts in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, watching closely so that they don’t burn.
4. Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse till they are at a fine chop.
5. Dice onion into small pieces.
6. Take the kale off the stem and dice.
7. In a large sauté pan heat 1 teaspoon olive oil, add onions and cook until they start to brown then add the minced garlic until aromatic.
8. Add nettles, kale, lemon zest and cook for approximately 10 minutes.
9. Place filling in food processor and pulse 6-8 times.
10. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add walnuts and let cool.
11. On floured surface place a sheet of fresh pasta and cut into 4 equal pieces.
12. Place 1.5 tablespoons of filling in center of one of the pieces.
13. Use a pastry brush and brush the edges of the ravioli with the egg replacer mixture.
14. Place another piece of pasta on top of the filling and run your finger along the edges to seal ravioli.
15. Repeat steps 9-12 until you have 16 large pieces of ravioli.
16. Bring a large pasta pot full of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a ¼ teaspoon of salt to a boil.
17. Place ravioli in boiling water for 3 minutes.
18. Pull ravioli out and place 4 pieces on each of the plates.
19. Cover with hot cashew cream sauce.
20. Place 1/3 cup of radish and artichoke mixture in the center of the ravioli, top with 1 tablespoon of the greens. If you want, zest a little nutmeg over the plate. Serve and enjoy!

Cashew Cream Sauce Ingredients
1 cup cashews
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1. Soak cashews overnight in the room temperature water, making sure that the cashews are fully submerged. If you are on short on time you can soak them for a minimum of 4 hours. They will swell up and become soft.
2. Place soaked cashews and ¾ cup of the cashew soaking water and the rest of the ingredients in food processor. Blend on high until smooth and creamy looking. You may need to add a little more of the cashew soaking water until you get a sauce like quality.
3. Place cashew sauce in a saucepan and heat on low until ready for use.

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