Greens + Herbs + Roasted Radishes

03 . 18 . 12

I feel like I’ve been awkwardly bumbling about here the last few weeks. Stalling. Filling the white space up with words that I can justify clicking the publish button with, but void of the kind of truth or vulnerability that I usually challenge myself to share in this space. It’s all part of the process, though. I think. I hope.  Still learning what it means to be on the web like this.

While it excites me that there actually people (like you) who tune in each week to this nook, it is also sort of presses on that weak spot in my psyche that is constantly egging on to “be perfect.” Ugly business. You know, the virus of  ”should be, should say, should do” that holds us all back from being our best, truest possible selves. Every so often when I get down to business writing here, I get stuck on an idea where it’s like, rats, I can’t say that or I can’t talk about this because I don’t want to offend or upset someone. There is a quiet nagging voice warning: “must be poised, must be calm, must be wise, must not ruffle too many feathers.” And okay, to a certain degree the conscientiousness is good – even necessary. The world would be a much nicer place if we all just learned to check ourselves now and then when we have an outrageously passionate thought. But too much editing, filtering, and accommodating makes me feel like a robot.

Yet, as it were, this week I did not feel calm. I did not feel rational. I did not feel yogic. So many things that made me want to light the kitchen on fire, really. There was not a stable emotion to cling to for more than a few hours as I boomeranged between elation, empowerment, anger, sadness, frustration, confusion, joy, and crushing heartbreak. I chopped off 10 inches of hair on Tuesday with unabashed lightness, yet on Friday my chest was so heavy with sorrow for all the suffering, depravity, and cruelty of this world that I could barely stand as Shaun held me in his arms. A mess I tell you; imagine me later over a cutting board shouting “Society, Society!” at the top of my lungs with a clenched fist of radishes just like Eric McAndless from the film Into The Wild when an article on Texas abortion laws push it all over the edgeCrazy person, crazy.

I have a food blog. We take pretty pictures and share healthy recipes. That’s nice. Sweet. But on the other side of the editing table is an intense passion for “stuff” other than vegetables that floods my veins with purpose, intention, and deep conviction. The perfection trap can’t even put up a fight today because  right now my heart is too swollen, my spirit soggy with the weight of a million weary voices and divisive ideologies that I alone cannot bring together or make better. There is a lot I really, really don’t understand about the world right now. I’ll keep kicking here, but it’s hard to profess my great love for salad in this state.

So I suppose I’ll stall a bit more. Stalling with grace, hopefully. It’s what I’m holding onto through all of this and I think you should too, whatever it is you see in the world, your world, that concerns you. Grace is everywhere in everything. Grace during moments of distress. Grace for times of great joy. Grace through the angst. Grace in failure. Grace for the good fight. Grace for the radish-rants in the kitchen. Grace for the people and ideas and things we don’t understand. Lets just have some grace, sound good?

Greens, Herbs, and Roasted Radishes

  • 3 bunches of radishes
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 head romaine
  • 6 endives
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp dill, minced
  • 2 tbsp mint, minced
  • salt/pepper
  • (optional) smoked salmon

Rinse and remove greens from radishes. Halve or quarter (depending on the variety you go with) and coat with olive oil and salt and pepper on a heavy baking sheet. Roast in a 400′ oven for 20-25 minutes until blistered but not totally browned. Set aside to cool.

Combine chopped butter lettuce, romaine, and endive (cores removed) in a large bowl. Slice and dice avocado into cubes over the bowl, then add chunks of salmon (optional) and the cooled radishes. For the dressing: whisk together olive oil, shallots, dill, and mint with the lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour over the salad, add some sea salt and fresh pepper, and toss with your hands or wood tongs.

(ps) I’m giving away books on Facebook this week. Just because I feel like it. Hop on over to get in on the party.

  • I feel you, Kelsey. I’ve been trying to open up a bit more on la Domestique, and it’s definitely stretching me. I think that it’s important to be kind and inclusive with our words, but if we are too careful, we become a very bland version of ourselves. It’s a balancing act, as the material we put on our blogs cannot be taken back. Stay true to yourself and your mission. It’s also ok if everyone doesn’t always agree- that’s what keeps life interesting. Thanks for a beautiful post, and another uplifting recipe!

  • I totally relate to what you’re saying. There are times when I feel constrained by the “shoulds” of the world, real and web world. There are many times when I share my deepest thoughts in my blog and other times I just want to hide from everyone, hide behind my own words. It’s okay to feel this way. We are all so much more than our love for food. We have worries and concerns and frustrations and sorrows, and it’s okay.
    I will be here reading your blog no matter what you feel like sharing, Kelsey.
    Your salad is lovely.

  • Alana

    I have that feeling sometimes…when the weight of the world suddenly falls on your shoulders and suffocates you. It’s a hard time. You just have to remember, you only have one go on this planet and the most important thing to do is enjoy and appreciate every second :)

    This never fails to cheer me up and put a smile on my face. Hopefully it can do the same for you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31TTcjYw0hQ

  • Your words are always beautiful, inspiring, and honest. Being a perfectionist is hard, I get that way sometimes and I end up sitting in front of my computer for hours. Be it for work stuff or blog posts. I would like to be able to write about more profound things in my blog posts like you do… it happens sometimes, but most of the time, I just type things like I would say when talking to a friend. I guess this stems from a need to express how I feel about my passion for cooking and my food stories that most of my friends don’t share and blogging about it is my only outlet. So, I just let it come out when I post recipes and mundane stories. I have great respect for blogs like yours… thought-provoking words and healing recipes.

  • Chloe

    That was raw. That was real good.

  • I so understand what you are saying and so thankful for Grace! There is grace to go on – to pass on. And we can find joy in the hard times, in the frustrations of life.
    Love the idea of roasting radishes. Will have to try that. Thank you for this post.

  • I think your authenticity shines through, Kelsey, and since the “perfect” blog would be utterly boring, I say share it all. We all have weeks like the one you described. Lifting the veil and writing real thoughts, concerns and angers makes it that much easier to connect to one another. That’s my two cents. (Also, I feel you on the “intense passion” we share for the state of the world.)

  • This is so true and candid, for a moment just talking about how you feel — even if you think you’re stalling, this post right here gets to the heart and muscle of blogging, about life.

    I for one say let the mess out if you can and if you’re willing. This is your space, and so many of us will support and respect you no matter how “imperfect” what you have to say might be. Fly that freak flag, lady. Fly it high.

  • Hilary

    You seem to be such an insightful person, and I would love to hear your honest words! We will always read what you have to say!

  • As always your post seem to hit home for me (I think I’ve even had a week quite similar, including the chopping off 10 inches of my hair.) Blogging is such an odd thing with so many emotions (I’ve also had times where I’ve thought, delete it all…) At least we have grace.

    As for this salad, I have a certain love for roasted radishes and I can’t wait until I get some from the csa.

  • My mom showed me how to cook radishes from a very early age… though, I’ve always enjoyed them raw. There’s something so wonderful and delicate about roasted radishes. Such a beautiful dish!

  • yum, I love radishes and was surprised when I roasted them. They are really nice that way. Cant ever eat enough salads in my book :)

  • If we were discussing this in person, I have a feeling I would be loudly affirming and wild hand gesture-ing like crazy. I had a similar “SOCIETY!” fit (or passionate outburst maybe) at work recently and while it’s reassuring to know that we are, indeed, actually thinking, engaged and concerned human beings, it’s like being on pins and needles all the effing time. It’s tiring, it’s heavy, it’s hard to see further and bring that chin back up high. In summation: I feel you, girl. A hundred thank yous and hugs :)

  • Strange thing isn’t it, having a internet space to share.Sometimes it all makes sense, and sometimes it doesn’t. Editing our thoughts and sometimes exaggerating. Sometimes it all like throwing ourselves in space knowing no limit, and yet we limit ourselves by our own conscious that is instilled by what we scream about ‘society. society!’

  • What is that saying “perfect is the enemy of good enough”? I’ve been delaying posts because I’m not feeling “up to snuff” with my writing, but in the end, who am I really trying to impress? The whole point is to connect and expand relationships with others, right? And part of that is to open it all up, warts and all, and have at it.

    Now, if I could just figure out a way to add one more trite phrase into this comment… ;)

  • It’s like you’re in my head. The should I/shouldn’t/what if is so often with me. The constant barrier/motivator to stay true through all of the murkiness out there and sometimes in my heart. It is indeed difficult to muster up enthusiasm on occasion with all that is. So I don’t. I try (sometimes struggle) to remain me. And put it all out there. Now onto food. The radishes. I love french radishes but I’ve never roasted them. Very interesting. The salad looks awesome, can’t wait to make it.

  • Oh, I so hear you about writing and blogging and being honest, etc. We love talking about ‘current events’ with our teens and sometimes I want to make that my main topic. Knowing the alienation and ruckus that would ensue, however, keeps me on a steadier path. I really enjoyed this piece because I gain strength from others thinking and feeling the same way as me. Thank you!

  • Beautifully written. It felt has if you took those words right out of my mouth. Now, I’m totally inspired to put all of the angst, sadness and frustration aside to find a meditative state in the kitchen. Off to the store for radishes….

  • Again, just what I needed to hear this week. I feel like you are reading my secret journals, and then pointing me in the right direction. I so appreciate you, your voice, your thoughtful recipes.

  • Wonderful ramblings. Those overwhelming feelings really are earth shaking, aren’t they? Thanks again for this wonderful blog. It really is a source of inspiration for my own scattered musings.

  • Oh girl, those shoulds are the devil. I hear you. Funny that you mention getting fired up about Texas abortion legislation, Oklahoma is trying to pass some laws that make me slam my fists on the table and suck down vodka martinis while swearing but! I don’t talk about it on my blog. Too political. Anyway, every time I’ve opened up about my imperfections on my blog, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response. So cheers to imperfection, and for not being wise all the time. To honesty!

  • It’s like you pulled the words right out of my head. And I know what I’ll be doing with those radishes that’ll fill my CSA box soon.

  • I’ve never ever roasted a radish in my life, I’ve always eaten them raw – am fascinated to try roasting them now so thank you for the recipe.

    As for blogging, sometimes it’s hard to know what to write about and what to leave for your personal, or private life, but too often the boundaries are blurred. I think it’s important to share your thoughts here, and as you can see, you’ve got a huge support system out there :-)

  • This salad is perfect for spring! Colorful, light and crisp…Will try soonest ;)

  • I can say that most of us have been in this very place! Your honesty is humbling and even as you write that you struggle to find the right words to write, that initself is part of this journey and it’s honest and there is something to that.

  • A few years ago I went a bit plum crazy on diabolically cheap bunches of radishes at the Farmers Market, and once home I looked at the bounty, scratching my head and thought ‘What now??’

    A batch of pickled radishes led to an epiphany. A sheet pan of roasted ones lifted me to another stratosphere. What wonders! Now I find myself eager for those cheap little orbs, and in whatever colors I can get my eager fingers on. And now, I’ve got this salad to experiment with, to taste and to learn from.

    And all those things in the world? I feel your pain. Crushing, isn’t it? I feel often like I’m watching it through a huge window, pounding my fists on the glass in frustration “Don’t you hear me? Stop the madness!!” and my head whirls in despair. We feel too deeply, I guess. Hope your man keeps the matches from your grasp.

  • i cannot wait to make this. we’re just about to plant our lettuces and radishes – this will be the first thing I make, for sure.

  • Yay, roasted radishes! I’m so happy these are starting to become more mainstream–they’re so good! :)

  • Oh the joys of being imperfect, living in an imperfect world and posting pretty pictures of food and talking about pretty things. I struggle with this myself. And on SO many occasions, I’ve sat down to write a blog post that would have been angry, depressing, and downright unpretty to read. I think it’s hard to balance the things you really want to write about with the food, sometimes. But, I think that that’s the nature of writing you share: sometimes it’s pretty and sometimes its not. That said, I think that when I’m in a place where it feels like ALL of my posts are turning sad, it’s a good reminder to myself to question what’s up, and why do I need to edit so much this week? Big hugs to you, Kelsey! xo

  • Hi,

    I have never really thought about roasting radishes before….in fact they are not my fave food item and I love most veggies. Thanks for the inspiration and the beautiful looking salad…making me peckish though I should be heading straight to bed and just to let you know I thought this post was beautifully, gracefully stalled!

    Nicola x

  • You have just summed up my own daily struggle as a blogger. How much to say? Does it always have to be sunny? Will readers support you if you dare to be sad, mad? I truly relate.

    Thanks for your words–I always enjoy reading them. And thanks for your tasty recipe idea. I’ve never eaten radishes roasted. Time to try something new!

  • Oh, the bright fire in your gut. I wonder where mine has gone? I can remember when cooking provided an outlet for some of the intensity I felt over so many things and now as much as I know “it” is all out there, swirling around — the injustices, attitudes, sheer hatred — I think I’ve withdrawn into a very quiet space, hiding from it all. Now, which of us is more crazy? I say let it rip. You could only do so in an eloquent way — and then if someone is going to judge, so be it.

    I like the idea of the roasted radishes — I’ll bet their bite is mellowed a bit, isn’t it? ;)

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