Hazelnut & Chard Ravioli Salad
3/4 lb. raviolis
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
fine grain sea salt
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 bunch swiss chard, deveined and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup butternut squash "croutons"
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup chives, minced
Choose a winter flavored ravioli, I used a fresh (but store-bought) sweet onion & red chard ravioli, but I suspect a butternut squash ravioli would be delicious as well. I sometimes precook the raviolis and keep them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet until I am ready to use them - this helps prevent the raviolis from melding into one another after cooking. I used a butternut squash version of the potato "croutons" shown here. Substitute butternut squash for the potatoes, you can make them a day ahead, but they loose some of their structure overnight. The flavor is still great, but you'll loose a couple points for eye-appeal. I sometimes do a big batch of the onions and keep them in a jar in the refrigerator to use in recipes like this one.
Into an extra-large pot of well-salted boiling water add the raviolis. After a few minutes, when the raviolis float and are cooked through, drain them and toss with one tablespoon of the olive oil. This prevents them from sticking together. Set aside.
To caramelize the onions, heat another tablespoon of the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed skillet with a pinch of salt. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions collapse and turn deep brown in color. You can do this ahead of time (or just before serving) - whatever you prefer. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Just before serving heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, again in a big skillet over high heat. Add the raviolis. Stir in the onions, and then the chard. Wait until the chard begins to wilt, then stir in most of the cheese and most of the hazelnuts. Gently fold in the butternut squash and lemon zest. Remove from heat.
Serve on a big platter garnished with chives and remaining hazelnuts and Parmesan.
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