AKA Throwback Thursday on Friday. AKA I forgot to write this post because girrrrlfriend, I had other shit to do.
All these non-existent jobs I have are taking too much of my blogging time. I made myself understand that I do need work and until I become world-famous, this is the path I need to take. Yesterday I spent a lot of time reading about local farming and seeing if there’s any work or learning experiences in it for me. It has nothing to do with my degree but who follows that stuff anyway?
I’ve been thinking a lot about food since I moved here. In a stuff my face way as well as what exactly I’m stuffing my face with way. Grocery shops are nothing like they are back in Goa. People are so much more spoiled for choice and within all these options lay my biggest doubts. I’m reading labels and I don’t understand why half the stuff that’s in plain milk is in plain milk. I worry…because I was so used to getting vegetables a few hours away, from across the state border. Our vegetables had spots, sometimes we’d find worms in the pea shells (I’m still scared of shelling peas), the tomatoes would spoil in less than a week and no amount of love would keep fresh spinach looking fresh if you didn’t cook it on the same day.
I like that.
Why don’t we let the same rules that we apply to ourselves, apply to our food? Food that comes from the earth is supposed to be imperfect. Thank you farmer for perfecting the art of growing uniform, refrigerator-sized melons but I want it to be a struggle. I want my produce to spoil because if it doesn’t, all it has been reduced to is a convenience. Food isn’t convenient. Back home, my parents will shop twice if not thrice a week for vegetables. They’re brought in fresh on Sunday and exhausted on the same day if not the next. My dad turns into angry young man if there aren’t vegetables for him to cook for lunch every morning. Quick ‘n’ easy works but why go there?
I’m sure hugsband feels the same way but he hasn’t wrapped his head around it like I have. This is his world; I’m the one with the “other perspective”. I don’t want to force him to drive me to every farmer’s market or pick up the weekly CSA basket. We still shop at a grocery chain but thankfully, they have a section of local produce that looks “ugly” enough to draw me in..if you know what I mean.
If I sound like I’m complaining, I’m not. I just want the farmers who grow our food to be more responsible. Supporting your local farms is the only way. For those who have already chosen this path, congratulations. Your lovely insides are now part of an amazing debate.
Roasted vegetable peasant soup with cilantro pesto
My beetroot romance goes back to the day I took my first bite of them and they made my tongue a deep red. Then I’d ask the all important question: “Efj nuah naung ehd?”. After that, there was no looking back. If you asked me what my perfect beet recipe was, I’d say sliced, cooked till soft, with salt and pepper. It doesn’t take much. I wish I remembered this before I scoured 85 cookbooks looking for a recipe that lets the dear beets, be beets without me having to change my clothes and walk to the store. Hey, there are important decisions! Finally, she helped me..a woman after my own screwy Louie brain. Only difference is that she looks 10 times more attractive than I do right now in my sweatpants and unintentional windswept hair. Whatever.. YOU’RE the stalker.
- 2 beets, stalks cut off
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup rotinin (the colourful kind, which will eventually all turn red anyway so use what makes you happy)
- 3/4 cup garbanzo beans (I soaked them overnight and then cooked them in salted water for an hour)
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (.7 oz)
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 15 lightly toasted almonds
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 small cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, folks. Mine take 2 hours to get that hot so I ran laps around the apartment to annoy the neighbours. Sweet deal.
Line a small baking dish with foil and add the washed beets and carrots to it. Coat them well with 3 tbsp of olive oil, salt and some pepper. Place it into the oven and cook for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, I got angry knocks on my door. Don’t be like me.
For the cilantro pesto, I de-leafed the cilantro and put it in a blender. I could’ve use a food processor but I don’t know the difference yet. To toast the almonds, fill a champagne flute with…oh never mind. I put the almonds on another baking tray and popped them in the oven along with the veggies for about 5 minutes. I pulled them out mid-way just to toss them around before I took them out for reals.
To the cilantro, add the almonds, cheese, garlic, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, lime juice and a tbsp of olive oil. While blending, pour in the rest of the olive oil in a thin stream until it comes together in a green harmony. If it feels too dry, add more olive oil by the teaspoon. It’s ready when there’s still traces of almond crunch and it’s pasty enough to spread easily on bread.
The beets and carrots should be done by this point so take them out of the oven. Peel the beets and chop them and then do the same with the carrots.
Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a large pot and then add the rotini. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the garbanzo beans and 3 tbsp of the pesto and cook for a few more minutes till the pasta is al dente.
Now you have 2 choices as per Bev’s recipe. You can either stir the roasted vegetables into the pot or serve them in bowls and then spoon the vegetables on the top. I did both, but that’s just me. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to spoon a bit more of the cilantro pesto on the top.
Don’t make me say I told you so.
Red tongue, here I come!