I've heard a lot of people complaining about the weather we've been having recently. You know, the winter weather we're having in winter. I've come to realize that I'm a person who definitely appreciates all 4 seasons - I don't think I could live in a region that didn't have the variety of weather conditions we experience here in upstate New York. And, while there are certainly advantages and drawbacks to each of the seasons (you can fill in your own pet peeves here), I try to stay positive and embrace the aspects which I enjoy. No reason to mention cross-country skiing here again, right?
When it comes to winter eating, I love hearty stews, soups, baked goods and roasted vegetables and meats. As soon as the temperature begins to drop, I look for ways to turn my oven on to supplement the 66 degrees I keep the thermostat set on. Salad may not be your first thought for a winter's lunch or a light dinner, but, add a couple of roasted vegetables to a bed of greens, and you just might find yourself not missing the warmer seasons quite as much.
For today's lunch I roasted a bunch of beets (cut greens and root off of beets, wrap them individually in foil, place on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees until they feel a bit soft, ~ 35 minutes. Cool and then unwrap and slide skins off.) and some asparagus (snap bottoms off, drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper and sea salt, roast for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees). Prepare a bed of greens - I used baby spinach and arugula, and dress lightly with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I make my lunch typically at night and find that the combination of olive oil and lemon juice really holds up overnight without wilting the lettuce. Plus - who needs all that crap that is in commercially prepared salad dressings? Add your roasted beets and asparagus, a small handful of dried cranberries, some croutons for crunch and a bit of soft cheese. I went with goat cheese for today's lunch, but have happily used varieties of bleu in the past, as well as Rondolet. It all depends upon what's in the cheese drawer. Dig in with your fork and savor the flavors which transcend the calendar. Enjoy.