Sometimes opportunity knocks.
…and some of those “sometimes,” we may not necessarily entirely understand the opportunity or what it may bring, but simply recognize it as simply that – an opportunity.
Somewhat recently I was contacted by vegas.com, complimenting me on my passion for food and exquisite taste, as well as my ability to make things my own.
Being known for amazing food and restaurants – with over the top prices to match – I was challenged to take one of the delectable dishes offered at a fancy shmancy Vegas restaurant and make it my own luxury meal ~ just for you.
I took one look at the suggested menu items for re-working and immediately envisioned my masterpiece.
So here goes ~ for you…
Fennel and Celery Root Ravioli
“Cour-bouillon sauce and crispy celery leaves”
1 giant head celery root, peeled
1 large head fennel, thinly sliced
1 tsp. lemon salt, divided
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 sweet yellow onion, minced
2 stalks celery, minced – leaves reserved
1 large heirloom tomato, roughly chopped
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a very sharp knife or a mandolin, very thinly slice about half of the raw celery root into rounds. (Knifing into ravioli squares is perfectly pleasing, if you so desire the effort). On a parchment lined baking sheet, evenly spread the thin slices of celery root and drizzle with a tiny bit of oil. Bake until soft, but still becoming crispy.
In a large skillet, dry toast the fennel seeds until fragrant. Add about 1 Tbs. oil, adding onions. Sauté until translucent. Add about half the fennel and sauté until the onions are browning and the fennel is soft. Transfer about half of that mixture to a high speed blender, along with the large chunks of cooked celery root, a little lemon salt, and almost all the the remaining oil. (Reserve just a little oil for toasting the celery leaves and for garnish). Puree until smooth.
To finish the cour-bouillon, add the celery and tomato to the skillet, along with lemon salt and cook until the tomatoes are nice and juicy and well reduced. Finish with freshly ground pepper.
Heat just a little extra oil in a small separate skillet and add celery leaves. Cook until crispy.
To assemble, gently dab a spoonful of puree atop one thinly sliced celery root sheet. Top with a second sheet. Continue this process of assembly until all raviolis are made. Top with the cour-bouillon, crispy celery leaves, and a drizzle of oil – as well as some additional fennel fronds, if desired.
Best paired a light and delicious white merlot – something to enhance the fennel and celery flavors, as well as delightfully carry the sweet acidity of the tomato and lemon.