My dad always said that people are good. (Mostly. There are a few exceptions.) Exceptions aside, it’s true that most people, most of the time want to be good to one another. Sometimes when I’m stuck in the hustle and bustle of daily life, pissed off at that guy on the subway who didn’t give his seat up to someone who needed it more, or that woman who is listening to her music too loudly, I forget that everybody is doing the best they can. And I’m not making excuses for the people who don’t give up their seats (Come on, guys!!), but I do believe in my heart of hearts that everybody is just trying to get by.
Awhile back when I’d gotten the idea in my head to start another blog, I reached out to several people for all kinds of things–to be contributors, to build the website, to design a logo, etc. If you’re human, you know how hard it can be to ask for help. When everybody in my life seems to be caught up in the rat race, I feel like I’m an imposition in their lives. It never ceases to amaze me though, that even given the hurried, busy, and stressful lives we lead, how much people are willing to give back. A friend of mine from high school (who, incidentally, I probably haven’t seen in a decade) was on-call the day we launched our new blog. I really mean it when I say that he was on call. We haven’t spoken in years, aside for the occasional email or tweet, and he agreed to be there for me, to trouble-shoot problems and help us take the site live. I told him that he was one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever known. And I meant it. But I worry that he’ll never know how much it really meant. You see, when I thank people, I mean truly thank people, for their generosity to me, for their time, their interest, their care, I fear that my words somehow don’t penetrate. The gratitude that I feel when people take time out of their lives to help me with something feels so big, and it seems impossible that they will ever be able to know the magnitude of their impact. Or like I’ll never be able to communicate it. So today I’m putting it in writing in the hopes that my gratitude will penetrate. To all of you who helped me with Baked, with this blog, with sorting out my life on an ongoing basis, with talks, and shoulders, and rides, and hugs, and laughs, and even just the simple office banter that makes a regular day feel more joyful, it does not go unnoticed. My dad was right. People are good.
Speaking of good, let’s talk about this salad. Roasting + vegetables = GOOD. I’m not telling you something that you don’t already know. The heat brings out the sugars which contribute a caramel-like sweetness, the charring adds a hint of smokiness, and the overall texture of the soft, but toothsome bite makes the vegetables perfectly edible. The addition of a vinaigrette in this case, with its salty sweet overtures, brightens up the whole dish while the hazelnuts add balance with their crunch. Good, I tell you. Real good. The best part is that it’s a simple toss in the oven/blitz in a blender to complete this meal. There’s a lot of goodness going on today, and there has been a lot all over the internet. So incase you missed these, here are some of my faves from the past little while.
Have you seen these crispy eggplant polenta bites?
Speaking of good, I can’t even deal with how much this makes my heart explode.
Kelly’s version of a warm hug.
I’ll take 2 of these muffins, please!
The look of this egg sandwhich. Totally stunning, right! Also, I want to eat it right now.
2nd graders get taken out for a 7 course tasting menu. Totally priceless.
Banana bread cinnamon rolls?! Holy geez.
I started a bread board on pinterest because I’m obsessed with the idea of baking bread. All day. Every day.
Happy Friday everyone! xo
- 4 medium beets, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into quarters or eighths, depending on their size
- long strips of orange zest from half of a navel orange
- Pinch chile flakes
- 4-5 tbsp grape seed oil, divided
- Pinch of chile flakes
- 1 bunch young carrots, cleaned, trimmed, and left whole if small or cut in half if large
- 2 medium turnips, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into quarters or eighths, depending on size
- 1 head garlic, broken into cloves but with the skins still on
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Half of a large red onion, cut into slices
- A generous squeeze of fresh orange juice (from above) or Meyer lemon juice
- ¼ cup raw hazelnuts
- A bunch of arugula and (optionally) a handful of baby beet greens, to serve
- Maple Orange Caper Vinaigrette
- 3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp capers, mostly drained
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Cooked grains or lentils, optional to make it into a full meal
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Toss the beets with the orange zest, chile flakes, salt, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Place them on a large sheet of tin foil and wrap the foil snuggly around the beets. Place the tin foil packet on a baking tray and place in the oven. They will take about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes to fully cook through. Every 20 minutes, take the beets out and give them a toss. They're done when they're easily pierced with a fork. Remove them, salt generously and squeeze over fresh orange (or Meyer lemon) juice.
- About 20 minutes into cooking the beets, toss the carrots, turnips, garlic, and rosemary with 1-2 tablespoons of oil and salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet. (Be careful not to overlap too much or they will steam instead of roast.) They will take about 35-40 minutes to cook. Take them out half way through to give them a shake. They're finished when they're easily pierced with a fork and slightly browned.
- When the beets have about 15 minutes remaining, toss the onions with a teaspoon of oil and place them on the same baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts in a pan on the stovetop over low heat. Once they're golden brown and fragrant, remove from the heat and place them in a clean dish towel. Rub the towel together to remove the papery skins. Pull out the cleaned nuts, coarsely chop, and set aside.
- Make the vinaigrette by placing all of the ingredients in a blender and blending until smooth and emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
- To serve, create a bed with the greens and stack the roasted vegetables on top. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and top with hazelnuts. Add a few green leaves here and there for garnish.
- Serve with cooked grains or lentils to make it into a full meal.