The half-circle of blinding, turquoise ocean is this love’s primal scene. That this blue exists makes my life a remarkable one, just to have seen it. To have seen such beautiful things.
from ‘Bluets’, Maggie Nelson
I’m reading Maggie Nelson’s cult novella Bluets at the moment. 240 short stanzas ruminating on love and life and loss and philosophy, and the colour blue. Part autobiography, part meditation, part long lyric poem. And it is making me notice blue everywhere – in the slash of sky outside my window, in my daughter’s startling eyes, in the flash of the train coming past, on the underside of the birds that squawk in the wattles by the train line.
But I’m supposed to be working, so let’s leave the colour blue for now and keep this short and sweet. Life is BUSY, which seems to be par for the course at the moment. The other day S and I were talking about our uni days, where we used to spend entire afternoons cycling around the city, drinking beers, visiting friends, cooking dinner, hanging out. That kind of endless time seems worlds away. These days if I get to read an entire newspaper article without interruption, I consider that a luxury.
One of my favourite things to cook when I’m time-strapped is roasted veges. Chop ’em up, throw ’em in the oven, and then less than an hour later you’ve got a big tray full of goodness. They hold up well in the fridge to be eaten with salads the next day, and are perfect paired with any kind of cooked grain, or served with a fried egg on top, or stirred through with greens, or with chickpeas. Versatile. And to keep things interesting, seasoning the veges before they go into the oven can yield some lovely results.
I made these Miso-Roasted Carrots with Green Beans & Soba Noodles for lunch last week after picking up a big bunch of heirloom carrots at the market. I’m craving the umami goodness of miso at the moment, and the saltiness was a gorgeous match for the sweetness of the carrots and the bright freshness of the beans. The soba noodles rounded it out to a full meal, and the crushed peanuts added both texture and taste.
A simple meal. Nourishing. Delicious.
Miso-Roasted Carrots with Green Beans & Soba Noodles
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp miso paste (any type will work)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp brown sugar
30 green beans
90 grams soba noodles
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
Nub of fresh ginger
Extra sesame oil, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°c/400°f.
In a small jar whisk together the miso, a splash of water, the olive oil, sesame oil, and the sugar.
In a large bowl combine the carrots, the miso/oil mixture and the sesame seeds. Toss until the carrots are well coated in the miso/oil mixture, then lay in a single layer on a baking tray (pour any extra miso mixture left in the bowl overt the carrots). Bake in the preheated oven for approx. 30 minutes, until the carrots are cooked through.
In the meantime:
- Top and tail the green beans. Place the beans and asparagus into a shallow dish and cover with boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes then drain.
- Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
- Roughly chop/crush the roasted peanuts.
- Peel and very finely grate the ginger
In a large bowl combine the roasted carrots, the cooked noodles, and the beans. Toss to combine, the top with the grated ginger and crushed peanuts.