I’m getting tired writing about art. For years I’ve been surfing the internet looking for artists that interest me. Looking for evocative work, inspiring pictures that lift the ordinary into the extraordinary. But now its time to reflect on my own trip through the light fandango; how things change with time, in the space I walk with my baggage of memories. This movement, this dance through the past and into the present brings with it many changes as I grow while looking back, ruminating over missed opportunities and the possibilities that still lie ahead.
It’s in this spirit of enquiry that I intend doodling, writing notes from a small city on the South coast of Ireland, a place I came to for a few months work and ended up staying in for over 10 years. Having a child, getting married, growing roots of some form or another while struggling to make it through the world of art, through play and failure. It’s a long hard road. A struggle even. And I’ve learnt so much. Have come to appreciate the smallest things; light, space and the undulating movement of the seasons that weave their tapestry of love through everything I do; see, smell, taste, touch. That make the ordinary banality of the everyday worthwhile.
So let’s begin by breaking bread. Let’s cook a dish worth savouring, a taste of the autumnal earth with a robust, sweet and fulsome flavour bursting with colour, energy and goodness. A warm puy lentil salad with roasted beetroot, carrot, sweet potato and butternut squash. Delicious. Easy to make and quick to put together with a minimum of fuss.
Ingredients (Serves 4 people)
240g Puy lentils
6 medium sized raw beetroots, parboiled, each peeled and cut into 4 wedges
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
12 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into large chinks
Good bunch of fresh thyme
Good handful chopped parsley
Coarse sea salt
Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1 tblsp Dijon mustard
1 tblsp Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 200C/ 400 F/ gas 6. Toss the beetroot and thyme in some olive oil, season and chuck into a roasting tin and throw into the oven for 15 minutes.
Add the butternut squash, sweet potato and carrots to the roasting tin with beetroot and mix well. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. While the vegetables are roasting in the oven.
Meanwhile, soak lentils for 10 minutes in a small bowl, then drain. Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then drain and cool.
Make your vinaigrette by mixing vinegar and mustard in a shallow bowl and slowly adding olive oil while whisking to form an emulsion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Check your veg. If its done take the out the roasting tin and set aside.
Tip the lentils into a large bowl and stir through the parsley, vinaigrette and season. Add roast vegetables and cheese and give a good stir. Serve at table.
We sometimes have this with a green salad or a tasty pork chop with a good squeeze of lemon. Either way its filling, warming, comforting and utterly divine. Give it a try.