mushroom ravioli bento

30 06 2010

one thing i love about our new neighborhood is all the old-school italian grocery stores, most of whom sell the freshest mozzarella, and some of whom import delicious fresh pasta.  for today’s lunch, i’m using leftover mushroom ravioli from last night’s dinner party… these were fantastic just boiled, drained, and pan-fried with a little bit of butter, salt, pepper, and thyme.

to decorate my mushroom ravioli, i made mini-mushrooms from vegetarian ham and cheese.  the rest of the box has steamed broccoli, two grape tomatoes, a few pea pods, and a fruit section with clementine wedges, red grapes, and more of my crazy CSA blueberry haul.

the mini mushrooms were super easy to make:  i laid a piece of veggie ham on top of cheese, and used a medium-sized circle cutter to make 5 circles.  then i used the smaller of my two tear-drop-shaped cutters, upside down, to cut away the “negative space” on either side of the mushrooms’ stems.  finally, i took the ham layers off the cheese layers and used a drinking straw to cut the mushrooms’ spots, then carefully replacing the ham on top of the cheese so that the yellow was visible through the holes.

– ♥ –

unrelatedly… remember how i said i was making blueberry crisp last night?  it turned out sooooo yummy that i just had to post my recipe (adapted from 3 or 4 crisp recipes on cooks.com).  this recipe will make five or six little ramekins (which i think are prettier for individual servings at a dinner party), or it will make an 8″x8″ brownie pan (or 9″x9″ with slightly less tall and crispier end results).  and i know thyme is a weird ingredient for a dessert, but i really think it’s a great flavor combo — it’s just herbacious enough to taste unusual, but mild and lemon-y enough to go well with (and not overpower) the fruit.

blueberry-thyme crisp

for the filling/base (the fruit part, whatever you want to call it):

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from the woody stem (discard stems)

for the crispy crumbly top:

  • 1 stick of COLD (i actually used semi-frozen) butter
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup quick-cook oats
  • 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

assembly:

    1. preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
    2. in a large mixing bowl, toss the berries with the flour, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and thyme.
    3. butter your ramekins (or brownie pan) and gently dump the blueberries in (too many mashed berries before it starts cooking will make it too wet).  if you are using ramekins, leave about a 1/2″ of room at the top — the cooked crisp will sink as the berries wilt down, but you need to have room to add the topping before baking.  if you’re using a brownie pan, don’t worry, 4 cups of blueberries won’t come up anywhere close to the top of the pan, so you’ll have plenty of room for topping.
    4. in a food processor, add all the topping ingredients and pulse until you have a coarse mixture (e.g., until the little lumps of butter are about the size that the oats were before you started pulsing).
    5. with a spoon, carefully add the topping to the filled ramekins or baking pan.  you want to fully cover the blueberries (although one poking out here and there is fine), but you don’t want a particularly thick layer of topping — it won’t crisp up if it’s too thick, so it’s ok to end up with extra topping (throw it in a zip-loc bag, it freezes fine and you can use it to top a single ramekin in the future).
    6. place your ramekins on a foil-lined baking sheet (they may bubble over a bit), or if you are using a brownie pan go ahead and put a piece of aluminum foil on the baking rack underneath the pan, and bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your altitude and oven) or until the entire crisp has sunken down, the topping is golden, and you can see blueberry goo around the edges of the pan.
    7. cool them down!  really, i swear, they are too hot to eat right now (i learned the hard way).  when the ramekins are still warm to the touch, top with vanilla ice cream and a few sprigs of thyme.


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    22 responses

    30 06 2010
    Bentobird/Jenn

    So cool that you have old school Italian grocery stores in your new locale–I miss them so! Love how you’ve blended the lovely ravioli with kawaii mushroom decorations here. Blueberry crisp looks like pure summer berry pleasure, thanks for sharing the yummy recipe with us (and gorgeous, inspiring dessert photo)!

    30 06 2010
    gamene

    i’ll trade you one of my italian grocers for one of your russian grocers, haha! isn’t it wonderful exploring the different neighborhood traditions? thanks so much for your sweet comment, and you are very welcome for the recipe — hope you try it and enjoy it!

    30 06 2010
    Karen N.

    Beautiful dessert and bento box. I’m definitely going to try to blueberry crisp. I love your recipes and have tried most of them … not the little carrot flowers though because the return doesn’t seem quite worth the work investment ;)

    30 06 2010
    gamene

    hope the blueberry crisp works out for you… derrick doesn’t like desserts to be too sweet, so this is the minimal amount of sugar possible to create the syrup that binds the filling together (you may want to add about 1/4 cup more if you like it sweet). and i convinced myself that this one is healthy because it has walnuts and oats! you with me?

    30 06 2010
    yobodish

    Bento is terrific. Did you make that for a toddler? Does she/he everything including the broccoli? I need to practice my bento skills to teach my sis who has a toddler who doesn’t like anything green.

    I’m definitely trying the blueberry crisp. Looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

    30 06 2010
    gamene

    somewhat embarrassingly, no, i make the bentos for myself 0_o i do eat everything (even the broccoli), though!! and bento *is* a great way to get kids to eat healthier… biggie’s lunch in a box, sheri’s happy little bento, susan’s hawaii bento box, and pikko’s adventures in bentomaking are all great sites by moms who DO make them for kids!

    hope you enjoy the crisp :-)

    30 06 2010
    Sonoma Bento

    Don’t be ashamed of making obento for yourself! I am an adult making bentos mostly for myself (occasionally for my step daughter), and we too deserve kawaii bentos! :-) Besides, all of my coworkers are super jealous and wish I would make lunches for them, too.

    1 07 2010
    gamene

    thanks sonoma bento, i DO deserve it!! :D

    30 06 2010
    mommyof2girlz

    Adorable shrooms and the recipe sounds so delish!!

    30 06 2010
    gamene

    thanks steph, hope you try it! :D

    30 06 2010
    Lyndsey

    Oh good. I like that you make them for yourself. I would too. I love your mushrooms they are so cute, and even the pick in the tomato. What a nice neighborhood that you have an Italian grocer to get fresh ravioli. That’s how I like my desserts too not too sweet. Sounds yummy indeed!

    1 07 2010
    gamene

    thanks lyndsey! i am loving my new neighborhood :-) and if you like your desserts a little tart, this one is definitely for you – enjoy!

    30 06 2010
    sheri

    True we all deserve kawaii bento! Because we are all sometimes an overgrown toddler at heart.
    Love this box, and the way the fruits are wedged in there so nicely. Sweet!

    1 07 2010
    gamene

    thanks sheri! i’m definitely an overgrown toddler in some ways (especially when it comes to food and cute things!), maybe that’s why bento appeals to me so much!

    30 06 2010
    Debra

    Oh yeah! Italian grocers… fresh mozarella cant’ be beat! Your stylized mushrooms are dee-luxe!

    Lovely lunch and killer blueberry crisp!

    1 07 2010
    gamene

    thanks debra! mmmm… fresh mozzarella, and i haven’t even thought to do caprese yet! i gotta get on that!

    30 06 2010
    ChantaleP

    Oh my gosh is that ever cute! Love the veggie ham & cheese mushrooms! And that dessert! I have to go now. Am getting way too hungry!

    1 07 2010
    gamene

    haha, thanks for your comment chantale, hope you left to eat something tasty! :D

    1 07 2010
    Karen N

    Walnuts, oats AND blueberries? Omega 3s, whole grains and anti-oxidants. I like it!

    1 07 2010
    gamene

    right?! TOTALLY healthy! haha

    15 09 2010
    CookingToday.co.uk

    The blueberry-thyme crisp recipe sounds fantastic. Going to try this one over the weekend.

    3 07 2012
    mushroom ravioli bento | Bento Boxes

    [...] details on this yummy leftovers lunch, plus a recipe for blueberry-thyme crisp, at bento zen! [...]

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