The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Warm Ravioli Salad with Cilantro Pesto

If you drop two scoops of French vanilla ice cream, drizzled with hot fudge and fresh whipped cream atop a bed of mixed baby greens, does that make it a salad? OF COURSE it does!! Same with this ravioli “salad.” Nobody’s going to waste away during this salad month…

This recipe, although it has fresh pesto, is simpler than the Orzo Salad of the last posting. And the crazy vibrant green of the cilantro makes it extra gorgeous!!!

**WARNING: Cilantro haters – do NOT read on!!! This recipe is not for you! However, check back this weekend for something cilantro-free…**

I couldn’t help it – I got a MASSIVE bush of cilantro at the Farmer’s Market for $1.00

 

INGREDIENTS:
1/3 c toasted pine nuts
1 c lightly packed cilantro leaves & stems
1/3 c Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 TBSP lemon juice
2/3 c olive oil
sea salt
16 oz fresh or frozen ravioli
1/2 c oil-cured black olives, pitted and torn or chopped
OPTIONAL: thyme or chive flowers, to garnish

This was about 1/4th of the amount of cilantro I got!

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Toast pine nuts: Pre-heat oven to 400. Spread pine nuts evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for a few minutes.

Ugh!@!! Someone PLEASE clean out my toaster oven?

 

3 minutes would have been perfect. I did 4 and they got a little dark but still tasty.

2. Make cilantro pesto while water is heating. In a food processor or blender (I only have a blender) add cilantro, parmesan, salt, garlic, lemon juice and a generous splash of olive oil.


Blend until you have a gorgeous electric green sauce. Wow! Taste and add salt, lemon juice or olive oil to your taste.

How does SO much cilantro become so little sauce? Magic!

3. Salt boiling water & add ravioli. Boil until they float and are cooked through. (Follow package directions on this.) Drain immediately and, while still hot, add a large spoonful of pesto. Toss gently and let the pesto soak into the pasta.

Add most of the remaining pesto and olives and toss gently.

4. Gently pour onto a platter and drizzle remaining pesto, sprinkle remaining olives, pine nuts and (optional) flowers atop.

(I opted OUT of the flowers as I did not have them but they would be a pretty addition – especially if this were served at a special event.)

Maddie professed to loving this.

However, Maddie lied. (That was the only bite she took.)

 

A Word about my Adaptations:
I respect the original recipe and its ingredients very much but, sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients and I still want to make the dish. For this reason, I adapt the ingredients to make them less particular and hopefully more accessible. My adaptations involve using ingredients I have. For example, I didn’t have any pepitos (not only did I not have them but I’d never heard of them!) and wasn’t about to make a trip with 2 kids to Whole Foods or the CO-OP to find them. Also, if you have olive oil but not extra-virgin olive oil, that doesn’t mean you can’t make this dish. That said, I find that using the best ingredients I can get (and afford) makes a difference in the dish.

Do you think I used the word “dish” enough?

This is what I call a First World problem. Most of the people reading this blog (you two know who you are! HAHAHAAH!!!) have more than enough to eat. If we can be aware of where we are getting our food from to be more environmental/humane, than great. Otherwise, I don’t want to get caught up in “I can’t use regular olive oil, it has to be extra virgin.” to the point you drive yourself nuts.

 

Warm Ravioli Salad with Cilantro Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6
 

An visually stunning warm salad perfect for special occasions (showers, luncheons…) Can be served room temp or warm. But be careful not to serve to the cilantro-averse.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ c toasted pine nuts
  • 1 c lightly packed cilantro leaves & stems
  • ⅓ c Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • ⅔ c olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 16 oz fresh or frozen ravioli
  • ½ c oil-cured black olives, pitted and torn or chopped
  • OPTIONAL: thyme or chive flowers, to garnish

Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Toast pine nuts: Pre-heat oven to 400. Spread pine nuts evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for a few minutes.
  2. Make cilantro pesto while water is heating. In a food processor or blender (I only have a blender) add cilantro, parmesan, salt, garlic, lemon juice and a generous splash of olive oil.
  3. Blend until you have a gorgeous electric green sauce. Wow! Taste and add salt, lemon juice or olive oil to your taste.
  4. Salt boiling water & add ravioli. Boil until they float and are cooked through. (Follow package directions on this.) Drain immediately and, while still hot, add a large spoonful of pesto. Toss gently and let the pesto soak into the pasta. Add most of the remaining pesto and olives and toss gently.
  5. Gently pour onto a platter and drizzle remaining pesto, sprinkle remaining olives, pine nuts and (optional) flowers atop.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature!

Slightly adapted from Super Natural Every Day. (Can you tell I LOVE this cookbook??)



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2 comments on Warm Ravioli Salad with Cilantro Pesto

  1. Michael
    March 13, 2012 at 12:11 am (2078 days ago)

    Going to try this. My kids do love pesto, at least they did last week. Btw, I like the part where Maddie claims to love it and then only take sone bite. O and P do that all the time, I think just to drive me nuts.

  2. Christina
    March 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm (2077 days ago)

    Kid warning: THis cilantro pesto is a bit “spicy” in a way. Or tangy. Maddie really didn’t like it and she likes basil pesto. That said, both kids liked the broccoli pesto as it’s mild. My kids happen to like broccoli too for some reason. Bea spits most vegetables out but eats old coals out of the bottom of the weber grill. What is wrong with her?

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