are you looking for a great and healthy appetizer that will impress everybody?
based on the traditional italian pasta dish, these raw-ioli are made from crispy slices of zucchini filled with either a deliciuos creamy cashew "cream cheese" and mushroom filling or a pesto made from walnut, basil and dried tomatoes.
the raw-ioli will delight everyone! and since they're not only raw and vegan but also gluten free, basically everyone can enjoy them, only the nut-allergic might have a problem...
the amounts used in this instructable will serve around six as an appetizer, and the pesto and the creamcheese are also really nice on their own, on a slice of bread or with pasta!
Step 1: Cashew Cream Cheese
do this in advance, the cream cheese has to sit in the fridge for one or two days before being used...
250 g of cashews
half a lime
juice lemon and lime, put the cashews and the juices into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, to achieve the right consistency you might have to add some water to the mix, but not much, maybe like 50 ml or so. the mixture should have the consistency of thick mayonaise. add salt to taste. put in a container and put in the fridge for one or two days.
Step 2: Tomato and Walnut and Basil Pesto
the second filling can also be made in advance, since it will keep in the fridge for some weeks if covered in oil...
50 g sundried tomatoes, the dry ones, the ones swimming in oil have probably been cooked before
a handfull of walnuts
about 50-100 ml of olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
a buch of fresh basil (or other herbs of your choice....)
salt and pepper
cut the dried tomatoes into little pieces, this works best with some clean kitchen scissors, then soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes to soften them a bit, then drain them. add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, adjoust the amount of oil to get the right consistency, it's best to start with only a little oil and then slowly add more until the pesto is nice and creamy but not to thin.
don't let the brownish color put you off, that is simply what happens when you mix red and green stuff....
put in the fridge until needed. if you don't use all of the pesto it will stay good for a long time in the fridge if you make sure that the top is always covered in a layer of oil.
Step 3: Prepapre the Garnishes and the "raw-ioli"
as garnish, i used spring onion, carrot, cherry tomatoes and asparagus (ah, it's asparagus season here at the moment, and i can't stop eating it, it's so good.....)
quarter the tomatoes, cut the onions into rings and first peel carrot and asparagus and then, with the peeler, slice thin strips from the vegetables.
to finish the cream cheese and mushroom filling take some brown champigon mushrooms and cut the into tiny dice, chop some fresh parsley and mix with the cashew cream cheese prepared in advance. salt and pepper if necessary.
since this is raw vegan ravioli, pasta is out and we need a substitute for that, here is where the zucchini comes in:
you will need about half a zucchini per person, the zucchini should be firm and have a quite big diameter. cut the zucchini into very thin slices.
Step 4: Assemble!
get all the stuff ready:
the mushroom cream cheese filling, the pesto, the garnish and the zucchini slices.
now take one slice of zucchini and put a teaspoon of pesto on top of it, top it of with a second slice of zucchini, your first raw-ioli is ready. fill the next one with cream cheese. arrange the raw-ioli omn plates, a pesto one, then a cream cheese one. when all the raw-ioli have been prepared decorate the plates with the garnish vegerables and enjoy!
if you are not a zucchini fan, you can also use any other roundish vegetable that can be cut into round slices, red beet works great and looks fantastic. you could also mix the cream cheese with other stuff, just as you like it.