My mother used to recite this little ditty to me when I was young and would always place one of my countless tendrils in the middle of my forehead as she was speaking. I love that memory with her. I remember her smile when she would speak – it was kind of like that saying was just for us.
I’m sure this saying has more meaning behind it than I thought as a child. I was generally a very well behaved girl, but as with anyone, I had my days. This was made abundantly clear by my recent outburst… I was, indeed, horrid.
Do you ever have those days when everyone else is wrong? How about those days when everyone else is incredibly annoying, or constantly in your way? Oh, and we all know about those days when life would be going swimmingly well if it wasn’t for someone else’s mistakes, setbacks and poor decisions. I mean really, the nerve of some people.
I was recently stuck in this warped state of mind. I literally thought that everyone else was the problem and that I was in some crazy version of The Three Stooges. It wasn’t until I took a trip to the Boulder Farmer’s Market that I realized I needed to give myself a stern talking-to.
I was amidst a heaping pile of jewel-colored beets when it hit me: I am in control of my actions and I’m the only one who can change the situation. (Of course, logically, I already knew this. But sometimes everyone just needs a little reminder.)
I stared at those beets for a good five minutes, grateful for their beauty, grateful for the Earth from which they came and grateful that a couple of beet bunches would be coming home with me. With all of this beauty, why in the world would I waste my time being upset with anyone?
Today, I am incredibly grateful. And as a tribute to the beets that brought me out of my funk, here’s a simple salad of roasted beets, arugula, feta cheese and a delicate honey Dijon vinaigrette. (There’s really no “recipe” for this – it’s all based on your personal preference.) Pair this with your favorite wine and some rustic bread for a perfect summer meal.
Roasted Beet Salad with Arugula and Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette
6 large beets, any variety
Feta cheese, sprinkling
Drizzle of the vinaigrette (recipe below)
How to roast the beets:
Preheat your oven to 375. Scrub the beets, leaving the skin on, and cut into quarters. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the beets in one layer. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and toss to coat. (Some people sprinkle salt on the beets before roasting, but I didn’t. Suit yourself.)
I always cover the beets with another layer of foil – I figure this would even out the cooking process and would essentially steam them. Cook until the beets are tender (mine took about 45 minutes, but this will vary greatly depending on your oven and beet size).
Allow the beets to cool to a temperature at which you can handle them and then peel them. The skins should easily slide right off. Cut the beets into bite-sized pieces.
Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until well mixed.
Assembling the salad:
Put a thick bed of arugula in a shallow bowl. Top with the beets and feta cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top, being careful to use it sparingly so as not to overpower the sweetness of the beets (they are the stars, after all!).