The Green Appetizer

I submitted this starter and the following two recipes to the 2011 ZEITmagazin cooking competition. The topic of the call was to create a meatless menu, though not strictly vegetarian, because fish was still allowed. While thinking about what to submit, I had the idea to tighten the limitations and create each dish using only one single color. There are plenty of ingredients available during spring and summer, so I thought, it’s a realistic and solvable task. The dish below was the starter for the competition, consisting only green ingredients.

pea ravioli with marinated zucchini, snap peas and ramson foam

Especially during spring the local market is full of green vegetables, so it wasn’t a too hard task to assemble some into a green dish. Though, I tried to avoid any kind of added green color like spinach mat that didn’t originate from the ingredients. One surprising component were the ramson buds. I was never really aware of their existence, so when I noticed them during cleaning the leaves, I immediately decided to sauté them along with the snap peas.

ramson leaf bud buds marinated zucchini peperoni cubes lime juice olive oil

The final dish can be divided in three layers: the lower layer is snappy, the middle one creamy and the top airy. I didn’t want to spoil the plate with a sauce, so the ramson foam had the role of saucing the ravioli. Due to the various textures and ingredients, each piece tastes slightly different and the plate remains interesting till the last bite. I did some shots of the plating procedure too where you can see each layer separately.

pea ravioli with marinated zucchini, snap peas and ramson foam

Pea Ravioli with Marinated Zucchini, Snap Peas and Ramson Foam

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 4 portions

Pea Ravioli with Marinated Zucchini, Snap Peas and Ramson Foam


  • 250 g peas, green and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp créme fraiche
  • 50 g parsley, flat leaf
  • 120 g semolina flour
  • 1 egg, large
  • 100 g zucchini
  • 1 chili pepper, green
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, slightly peppery
  • 50 g snap peas
  • 1 handful fresh ramson with 15-20 buds inside
  • 1 tsp lecithin
  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 handful fresh mint
  • neutral oil (e.g. sunflower or grapeseed)
  • flour
  • pinch sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil


For the mint oil
Wash mint, shake dry and remove the stems (e.g. use them for a nice refreshing tea). Blanch mint leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds, pour off the water and immediately chill in ice water to keep its green color. Pour off the water and press the liquid out of the mint leaves. Weigh the mint and the double amount of neutral oil (grapeseed oil works nice). Puree with a blender, cover and let stand for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain through a coffee filter and reserve the oil in a small squeeze bottle. Tip: The oil keeps its color longer when kept in the freezer.
For the ravioli (the amount in the recipe yields around 20 ravioli)
Wash parsley and remove the stems. Blanch parsley leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds, pour of the water and immediately chill in ice water to keep its green color. Pour off the water and press the liquid out of the parsley leaves. Coarsely chop parsley, spread on paper towel and leave to dry for some minutes at room temperature. Put parsley and semolina in blender and mix together using short impulses. Pout the green flour on a work surface, form a trough in the middle and add the egg, a pinch of salt and a little olive oil. Knead until a pliable dough forms. Depending on the water content of the blanched and dried parsley you might need to add some additional flour to the pasta dough. Wrap in clingfilm and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
For the filling of the ravioli put 200 g cleaned green peas in a pan, cover with water and cook with a pinch of salt until soft but still green. Pour off the water and puree the peas with 1 tbsp créme fraiche. Strain through a fine sieve and adjust to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
On a floured surface roll out the pasta dough very thin using a rolling pin or pasta machine. Place 1 tsp pea puree at safe distance to each other, circle around with some water (using your fingers or a brush) and fold over the other half of the pasta dough. Using a round cutter cut out the ravioli and press the edges firmly together.
At serving cook the ravioli in salt water, drain on paper towels and put only afterwards on plates.
For the ramson foam
Wash ramson, shake dry and reserve all the buds. Chop the leaves coarsely and cook for 20 seconds in small amount of boiling hot water. Strain the ramson leaves, reserve the cooking liquid and chill. Immediately chill ramson in ice water. Remove ramson from water and still soaking transfer to a container. Add twice the volume of cooking liquid to the ramson, blend well, let stand for some minutes and let the green liquid drip through a fine sieve. Discard the pulp. Season with salt, then using a hand-held blender mix in the lecithin and foam the liquid.
For the vegetables
Wash zucchini and quarter lengthwise. Using a kitchen plane slice the zucchini into long 1mm thin strips. Wash chili pepper, remove seeds and membranes and chop the flesh into small cubes. Gently mix the zucchini strips with the chili cubes, 1 tsp lime juice, 2 tbsp peppery olive oil, pinch of sugar and salt. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours. At serving heat covered in 80°C warm oven.
Blanch snap peas in boiling salted water for 30 seconds, then add 50 g peas for 30 seconds. Pour of the water and immediately transfer peas to ice water. When chilled, pour off the water and drain peas well in a sieve. At serving toss blanched snap peas, peas and reserved ramson buds in foaming butter. Glaze with 3-4 tbsp vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble
On a warm plate place 4-6 strips of marinated zucchini and add 6 snap peas, 4-6 ramson buds and 1 tbsp peas. Place 3 ravioli on the vegetables, sprinkle with some mint oil and garnish with ramson foam.

2 thoughts on “The Green Appetizer

  1. Robert Post author

    Thank you, Ami!
    Ramson foam works really well, unfortunately it’s only available in spring. During summer you can substitute it to long green stems of garlic. Use a lot of green garlic, otherwise the foam will taste bland. You can also improve the color by using chives or green parts of spring onions.

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