What does one make with half a package of wonton wrappers slowly succumbing to freezer-burn, a yard full of fragrant spearmint, and a package of cherry tomatoes?
A few months ago, during that first spell of beautiful heat, N. and our friend S. and I went to the annual Friends of the Eugene Library booksale. Amidst nerdy volumes, I found two glorious, inexpensive cookbooks, and it was from a volume called “Everyday Epicurean” that I found the recipe for this simple and really quite delish ravioli concoction.
The filling combines crumbled feta cheese, cream cheese, herbs, and the magic ingredient: a small pickled jalapeño pepper. After a whirl in the food processor, half a tablespoon of filling gets mounded in the center of a square wonton wrapper, which you fold into a triangle after moistening the edges with water. Stow your raviolis safely on a WELL-FLOURED cookie sheet while you finish producing the batch.
I stuck mine in the refrigerator for a few hours before dropping the delicate little stuffed triangles into a boiling pot, though the recipe didn’t call for this. While the little darlings boiled, I mixed up the sauce, which consisted mainly of cherry tomatoes and mint, just barely heated up in a sauté pan with some hot olive oil. Since my tummy doesn’t do well with heavy processed tomato sauces, this was near perfect for me.
The result was heavenly. The raviolis stuck together a little bit while I was pulling them out of the pot, and one or two of them may have leaked a little bit (the water was pretty cloudy by the time they were done), but it didn’t seem to matter. Unlike the usual frozen variety we depend on in a pinch, the wonton skins were ultra-thin and delicate, and tasted more like restaurant fare than the quick fix from the freezer section. The filling was creamy and rich, but not overpoweringly so, as the sharp bite from the pickled jalapeño inside and the sweet acidic tang from the tomatoes outside cut through the potentially cloying velvet of the cheese. Served up with a toaster-oven broiled slice of romano-garlic toast, this was completely worth the effort of creating all those little packages. Maybe the cliché about good things is true after all.