Pumpkin Ravioli Dinner Party Menu Help
I'm having a few friends over. I plan on making Pumpkin Ravioli with some kind of brown butter/sage/pine nut sauce (still researching). For dessert I'm making a pear bruschetta with hazelnut cream (fabulous F&W recipe).
I need help picking the other course(s). It has to be vegetarian friendly. What kind of salads would go well for this seasonal inspired meal? Would soup be better, and maybe a green side dish (green beans?). Any suggestions would be welcome.
I like the idea of a salad, as the butternut squash ravioli is a very filling main course.
An arugula salad would be great as a starter. If you are seving the meal family style, it would go nicely with the ravioli also.
I can post my recipe for an arugula salad with balsamic glazed cippolini onions. It would make a nice plated salad or family style dish. Usually I include pecans in the salad and either figs or shards of parmesan. Let me know if you're interested in the recipe.
Unless it's a cream sauce, which I don't think the OP is considering, I wouldn't call this a filling main course.
I think if you're going to serve anything else, it should be fresh/uncooked to balance out the rest of the meal, so a salad sounds better than soup. Something arugula or spinach based with some sort of fruit/nut combo for tangyness/crunch.
Approaching this from the Italian point of view, no side dish is appropriate, but you could follow the ravioli with a nice autumnal salad, maybe red and green lettuces, maybe with crumbled gorgonzola to make it more of a main course. No soup either, because the ravioli is already a primo piatto. You would want a sort of substantial antipasto, maybe fennel and orange salad, or grilled and marinated vegetables, possibly interspersed with some good canned or smoked or marinated fish, if they eat fish. I wouldn’t put sage in your sauce. Sage is good with something bland like ricotta, but the pumpkin should have a lot of flavor on its own. Just really good sweet butter and a ton of freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano is all you need.
A shaved fennel w/ citrus salad or shaved celery and red onion is very refreshing. I served a pumpkin risotto Sat and for a first course I served crostini with homemade ricotta and homemade roasted red and yellow peppers, it was very colorful and good. I followed with an argula salad.
re: Jay F
I'm planning on serving them together. I'm thinking of appetizers in the living room...a small platter of melon and cheese with some olives and perhaps some pepperoni and ham. Then for dinner a Caesar salad followed by the pumpkin ravioli, chicken francaise, and roasted asaparagus. Serving vegetarians and non-vegetarians is a challenge! Maybe I'll change my mind on the Caesar and go for one of the salads suggested. I love salads with greens, fruit...dried and fresh, and some cheese and a vinaigrette. Thanks for all of your help and suggestions. PS...do you think asaparagus is a little too strong for this meal?
No, but usually the late summer stalks are very large, and not as delicate as the spring ones, unless you are using imported ones.
Just my opinion, and I love cheese, but seems like a lot of cheese on the entire menu. I would still do a salad, just probably not one with cheese in it. And the simple butter-lemon sauce of the francese would go with the ravs, but I would probably hold off on the ricotta in the ravs, if they call for it, and use a sharp romano instead.
I'm thinking l an apple cider or apple wine gastrique drizzled over bitter fall greens like frisee, endive and radicchio , a few little pillows of some creamy goat cheese dotting the top along with those ruby colored pomegranite seeds and the wonderful cruch and toastiness of pecans
I think I would serve one of the wonderful salad suggestions on here as a first course. With the ravioli I would serve brocollini with garlic and red pepper flakes. If it didn't have to be vegetarian I would go with some sort of pork dish too.
A salad of mixed greens sounds good, but I'd probably make a soup to start, too. I suggest this veggie-friendly lentil soup, originally based on this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/greek-le...
8 ounces brown lentils
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 onion, minced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 1/2 celery ribs, including leaves, chopped
1 quart vegetable broth
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch crushed dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
white pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
fresh lemon juice
handful of freshly chopped parsley
Place lentils in a large saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook for 10 minutes, then drain lentils into a strainer.
Dry saucepan, pour in olive oil, and place over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add tomato paste and stir until color deepens.
Pour in lentils, 1 quart broth, the soy sauce, balsamic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt, pepper, white pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils have softened, 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional water or broth if the soup becomes too thick.
This soup tastes best if the flavors are allowed to meld overnight. Shortly before serving, stir in chopped parsley and fresh lemon juice to taste. Enjoy!
Start with an arugula and goat cheese salad, maybe some beets. Serve either roasted broccoli or brussel sprouts with the ravioli.