Monday, August 15, 2011

Kale Ravioli in Thyme-Lemon Broth

Today's relentless drizzle and moody grey sky signaled the quickly coming autumn, but I think we still have a little bit of summer sun left to enjoy. Tonight's dinner was the perfect bridge between the seasons: soup for warmth, but a light and lemony soup filled with flavors of the warmer months.

As usual, I'm trying to burn through the impossible amount of vegetables I've received in my CSA, so I decided to throw together this week's curly kale with some wonton wrappers I already had (from last week's tomato and goat cheese wonton cups). When the idea first came to mind a few days ago, I was thinking of a basic pasta dish with a tomato-based sauce, but yesterday, I found myself at Christina's Spice and Specialty Foods, where I picked up a jar of preserved lemons on a whim, quickly realizing that kale and lemons were a good match.

Wonton wrappers have so many uses! There were a million in the pack that I bought, so they'll probably be making appearances in a few more posts in the near future. For the kale, I just sauteed it in olive oil with some salt and crushed red pepper, and then I blanched it to keep it nice and green while I got everything else ready.

I had hoped to tie little knots of thyme around the tops of the raviolis, but this proved to be way too much work, so I just speared a few of them to add some color and flavor.

The fried garlic garnish was inspired by a Cambodian lime soup that I absolutely love - a sweet and sour broth with pineapple, shrimp, and some other tasty ingredients, including fried garlic. I also used a few thin slices of a preserved lemon as garnish. I'd never had these before; they added a subtly salty flavor along with the tartness, and the jar gave off an intoxicating scent when I opened it.

I accompanied the meal with some biscuits (the type made from store-bought dough), which I topped with Himalayan pink salt, another random purchase at the spice shop over the weekend.

Recipe: Kale Ravioli in Thyme-Lemon Broth
serves 2


  • Wonton wrappers (I used 18) 
  • Fresh thyme (a few sprigs)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 head curly kale
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 3 cans broth (I used low sodium chicken broth)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 preserved lemon (optional)
  1. Combine three cans of broth and the juice of one lemon in a large pot. Add some thyme. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until everything else is ready.
  2. Wash the kale and tear into small pieces. Saute with olive oil, salt, and crushed red peppers (optional). Blanch.
  3. Spread out wonton wrappers on a clean, dry surface. Put a small spoonful of sauteed kale in the center of each.
  4. Wetting the edges of each wrapper, fold raviolis. Follow the directions on the wonton wrapper package or do your own thing. Work quickly; the wrappers get harder to manipulate the longer they've been sitting out on the table.
  5. Get some water boiling. In the meantime, prepare the garnish: slice up the preserved lemon and fry some minced garlic.
  6. Cook the ravioli for about three minutes in the boiling water. Drain and combine with the broth. Garnish with preserved lemon slices and fried garlic.

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