Roasted Swede and Caramelized Onion Ravioli with Tarragon Butter from Donna Hay Magazine, September 2011

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Dear Cynthia,

I know you’re there. Hovering in the ether and reading this review. I know that because you’ve told me that you read every one. I also know that you’ll skip down to the bottom to see the verdict before reading the rest. You don’t have to do that this time. I loved this. Loved with a capital L.

You’ve also told me that there’s no way you could make some of the things I do and that you think I’m a great cook. I told you then that it wasn’t true and I’m telling you that again. Ask Hubby. He’s seen more disasters get thrown out then I will ever acknowledge.

So Cynthia, just for you I’m exposing myself today. This is what really happens during . . .

The Process
For those (like me) who don’t know, swede is another name for rutabaga. Personally, I like the name swede better and may use it at the grocery store just so I can see that blank, glazed look come over the produce guy when I ask for it. Just know that you need a rutabaga.

Also know that the swede is a very dense, hard root vegetable. I got my knife stuck in it. I swore in four languages (English included since Dudette was at school). You know me. I cut myself frequently. That’s a big knife Isn’t this the picture of potential disaster? Hubby came in. He saw me and heard me. He walked back out. I actually walked out for a while to regroup and try again.

Eventually I got the stupid knife out of the even stupider rutabaga. Yes, I said rutabaga. After that glitch I’ve decided it doesn’t deserve the name swede. I enthusiastically skinned and chopped the thing up into pieces.

Sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper, the chopped rutabaga went in the oven to roast. I suggest tossing things around once during the roasting so one side doesn’t get all nice and browned and the rest doesn’t. That’s not experience talking or anything.

Thirty-five minutes later, rutabaga and melted butter get pulverized together in a blender and the filling is ready.

The second part of the filling is caramelized onion relish. The recipe says to use any store-bought variety, but I made my own, using a recipe I got online. I used this one from It was pretty darn tasty and very easy.

Time to make the ravioli, using something called gow gee wrappers. What the? Gow gee? Seriously? I have no idea what gow gee is, but I know I can’t find them around here. So, I used egg roll wrappers and used a circle cutter on them to make them round. Easy enough.

Lay a circle of dough down, add a dollop of pureed roasted rutabaga in the middle and a dollop of caramelized onion relish over that. Repeat and repeat and repeat, etc. Next, brush a little water around the edge of the dough. Carefully pick up the piece and put it in your hand, on the fingertips, not the palm. Take a top wrapper and carefully put it on, sealing the edges by pressing all the way around. Press well, the success of the ravioli depends on it.

If you try and do this step on the cutting board, it will be impossible to get the edges of top and bottom wrapper to come together because of the mound in the middle. If you do it on your fingers, it is so much easier. You’ll end up with perfect ravioli.

Unless you somehow don’t press well enough and the filling seeps out and makes things fall apart. Not that I know from experience.

When all the ravioli are made, carefully slide them into boiling water and let them cook for 6-8 minutes (if using the egg roll wrappers).

While the ravioli are cooking, melt butter in a skillet and add the tarragon sprigs. Just cook them 30 seconds or you’ll have fried tarragon and have to go out to the garden and get more. Not that I know from experience.

As a final step, remove the ravioli from the water into the skillet with the butter. Cook them until golden on each side. Top with cheese (which I forgot about until just this moment….oops) and serve.

The Verdict
Did I mention that I loved this? I mean really loved this. I’m eating those perfect ones. I’m eating the mess in the skillet. I’m even eating the leftover filling. I just threw both the relish and puree in a bowl and mixed them together with a little tarragon butter. I’m eating all of it. Hubby doesn’t taste anything yet so he won’t care. Dudette’s not home so she won’t know. It’s that good.

[Update: Hubby tasted this and found it excellent. I was bummed because it meant I had to share, but there you have it.]

What I’d Do Different Next Time
I can’t think of a single thing I’d do differently. This is a fantastic recipe.

Roasted Swede and Caramelized Onion Ravioli with Tarragon Butter - print this recipe
from Donna Hay Magazine, September 2011

420g (15 ounces) rutabaga, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
10g (almost 1 tablespoon) butter, melted
24 gow gee wrappers
1/4 cup store-bought caramelized onion relish
60g (1/4 cup) butter, extra
8 sprigs tarragon
finely grated pecorino, to serve

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the swede, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking tray an toss to coat. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Place in the bowl of a food processor with the melted butter and process until smooth.

Spoon the swede mixture into the center of 12 gow gee wrappers and top with caramelized onion. Brush the edges with water; top with the remaining wrappers and press the edges to seal.

Cook the ravioli in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.

Melt the extra butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the tarragon and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ravioli and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until golden.

Top with cheese and serve as an entree or light lunch.

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