This recipe was developed for a professional restaurateur and friend who introduced the first Raw-Vegan venue to San Diego. She loved stuffed veggies of all kinds and, being Raw-Vegan, nothing is to be heated above 118 degrees. I needed a natural vessel that could be stuffed successfully, with little or no cooking. Here’s my delicious solution.
a guest recipe by Chef Tina Martini
I offered up my version of a “Raw” Ravioli made with pine nut pesto and the rest, shall we say, is history. This dish became one of her best sellers. A drizzle of balsamic reduction, although not Raw-Vegan, is my favorite finish to this “summer-on-a-plate” creation.
- 4 Roma Tomatoes
for Vegan Pine Nut Pesto
- 3/4 c raw Pine Nuts
- 2 tsps Nutritional Yeast (optional)
- 1/2 c fresh Basil leaves
- 1 small Garlic clove, rough chopped
- 2 Tbls Lemon juice
- 2 tsp Lemon zest
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 c Olive oil
- Place pesto ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor. Pulse to start chopping everything. (In Italy, pesto is blended by hand to keep the basil from oxidizing. They use a Mezzaluna blade, or mortor and pestle, hence, “Pesto”! You are creating more of a firm paste for this preparation, so we don’t want to use too much oil, or liquid.
- Once you have everything uniformly chopped, turn the motor on and allow to run.
- Drizzle olive oil in slowly, until the pesto is creamy.
- Chill finished pesto to firm it before layering your Raw-violis.
- Wash and dry tomatoes.
- Remove stem, core and slice tomatoes lengthwise, into 1/4′ layers. Keep each tomato together as you work.
- Spread chilled pesto neatly onto each layer and re-stack the tomato. You want enough pesto in each layer to create a colorful contrast.
- Plate on a drizzle of balsamic reduction, garnish and serve.
We know cooked tomatoes contain lycopene, a very powerful phytonutrient. Eaten raw, they are a great source of lipoic acid. This antioxidant helps detoxify the liver and bloodstream. It also assists in the metabolism of glutathione; another powerful nutrient found in tomatoes. Glutathione is a blend of three amino acids, protein building blocks. It is currently being used successfully to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Nutritional yeast can be purchased at health food stores, and is high in B vitamins. This is an important pantry staple for vegans as a source of B12, normally derived from meat. This nutrient manages stress in our nervous system. It imparts a nutty cheese-like flavor to the pesto. You”ll never miss the parmesan cheese.
Pine nuts are natures “diet pill.” They suppress the appetite, and greatly assist in the prevention of heart disease.
Raw garlic is one of natures best ways to a healthy cardiovascular system. Although there is no known cure for the common cold, (a cold can be caused by 279 different viruses) garlic certainly can reduce the severity of a cold at it’s onset, as well as shortening the duration of colds and flu alike. It is also a very powerful aphrodisiac. Hard to believe, with that breath! It brings blood flow closer to the skin’s surface, creating the “goosebump effect” when we are touched.
|by Chef Tina Martini, “The Medicine Chef” @MedicineChef | Facebook
Chef Martini is an experienced, well-versed television personality with a successful and proven track record. She holds a doctorate from Bastyr University in Naturopathy and a Nutrition degree from San Diego State University. She mixes cooking with nutrition, fitness and wellness!