Not surprisingly, I’m more about multitasking than meditation and mindfulness. No one defines me as serene or tranquil. In my next life, maybe. While I’ve dabbled with yoga throughout my adult life, that’s not been successful. Thirty-seven minutes into an hour session, I’d be in Downward Facing Dog mentally making my grocery list. By Warrior Pose I’d remembered two crucial phone calls to be made. Fifty-five minutes into the session when everyone is lying quietly, getting centered for the day, I’m rolling up my mat and creeping out of the room.
I can finally announce, however, this was a major breakthrough month for yours truly. Let the trumpets blare. How many of those does one have in a lifetime? Is it time to make one of your own?
Since my return to Aspen, I’ve watched my friend, Judy, who lets nothing stand between her and three weekly yoga sessions. However it was my friend, Kathryn, another yoga groupie and new Lights on Bright follower, who inspired me to dig out my old mat. “You know, Mary,” she said, ”every weekday morning, except Friday, I have yoga to look forward to. Now, on Friday mornings, I have Lights on Bright. It’s perfect.”
Readers, you know I’m a sucker for praise. This yoga business was worth another shot. Long story short……3 mornings a week, M-W-Sat, 90-minute sessions, (repeat, 90-minute sessions), all month, without fail. Our teacher, Anne, is a flat-out miracle worker. She begins each class (it’s 7am, after all) with a short story. Last Monday Ann talked about Thoreau and Emerson’s famous conversation about Simplicity. Do you remember it? Thoreau was commenting to Emerson about the need to ‘simplify, simplify.‘ To which Emerson responded, “One “simplify” would have sufficed.”
While being amused by Emerson’s cleverness, it also occurred to me why I am so enamored with “River Cottage Veg, 200 inspired vegetable recipes” cookbook. Every month our virtual Cottage Cooking Club makes several of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s delicious recipes which are the very essence of simplicity. This month I’ve chosen a quickly made and tasty quartet: Red Cabbage, Parsnip, Orange & Dates salad; Upside-down Onion Tart; Pasta with New Potatoes, Green Beans & Pesto; and Cannellini Bean Hummus with my Baked Tostadas leftovers suggestion. Each recipe is delightful, simple and party or family fare.
Enjoy this delicious food through photos, each dish special in its own way. I posted the savory/sweet Onion Tart Recipe below. If you’d like other recipes, just ask. It’s a sure bet any of these dishes would make a tasty addition to your table.
UPSIDE-DOWN ONION TART WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
All-butter, ready-made puff pastry (I prefer the Dufour brand)
3 to 4 medium onions
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 1/8-inch thickness and cut out an 8-inch circle. Wrap the pastry disc and place it in the fridge.
3. Peel the onions and slice each one into 6 or 8 wedges, keeping them attached at the root end.
4. Heat the butter and oil in an 8-inch pan ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. (I used a 9-inch cast iron skillet)
5. Add the onions, arranging them roughly in a pinwheel pattern.
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for about 15–20 minutes, turning once or twice, until they are fairly tender, and starting to caramelize around the edges.
7. Trickle the balsamic vinegar over the onions and cook for a couple of minutes more, so the vinegar reduces a little. Remove from the heat and make sure the onions are fairly evenly spread around the pan.
8. Lay the pastry disc over the onions and put the pan into the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is fully puffed up and golden.
9. Invert the tart on to a plate, so the sticky caramelized onions are facing up, on top of the crispy pastry. Sprinkle with minced fresh herbs and/or crumble over a favorite cheese, if desired. Serve with a green leafy salad.
The Cottage Cooking Club is an international online cooking group cooking and learning our way through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s “River Cottage Veg“ cookbook. The Club, led by Andrea,The Kitchen Lioness, is ‘meant to be a project aimed at incorporating more vegetable dishes into our everyday cooking, learning about less known, forgotten or heritage vegetables, trying out new ways to prepare tasty and healthy dishes, and sharing them with family and friends.’