The laziness washes over me after weeks, maybe months, of intense social happenings and work obligations. There is a quiet now. People are taking vacations deeper into the mountains and to far-away places so the neighborhoods are hushed and still. The afternoon heat makes a siesta in the hammock so appealing that I grab a novel and climb, as gracefully as possible, onto our striped double-wide hanging from two grand Ponderosas, doing my best not to flip over and fall off the opposite side.

eva-in-hammock-collage-wb

Once I am steady and reclining in the center, I take in the scent of pine that wafts passed my face. I hear the breeze moving its way through the tall trees long before I feel the warm caress of nature’s breath drift across me. The gentle wind keeps the hammock swaying back and forth, cradling me under the shaded canopy of the forest. I close my eyes, inhale deeply and then let out a long exhale, releasing any residual stress. Ah, summertime.

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~ Sam Keen

Lazy days such as these deserve sustenance that is equally as beautiful and relaxed.  The slightly peppery flavor of the rocket or arugula leaf is a delicious contrast to the sweet earthy taste of roasted beets and the lovely floral notes of the figs. A nice strong Stilton cheese and crunch of walnuts round out this pretty Roasted Beet & Fig Salad with Stilton, which is the perfect dish for a summer afternoon or evening meal.

Beet-and-fig-salad

Roasted Beet & Fig Salad with Stilton and a Blackberry Vinaigrette
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ Olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 loose cup blackberries, plus extra to garnish
  • 5 ounces baby arugula leaves, washed and dried (about 1 cup per person)
  • 12 small beets, assorted colors, washed and dried (2 beets per person)
  • 3 Figs (1/2 fig per person)
  • ½ cup walnuts pieces
  • 5 - 6 ounce wedge of Stilton cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Roast the beets by wrapping them in foil (wrap the lighter beets in a separate packets than the dark so the colors don’t bleed onto each other).
  2. Place the wrapped beets into a 425 degree oven for 30 – 45 minutes, until they are tender (I use my toaster oven for this).
  3. Remove beets from oven, and allow to cool.
  4. Run the beets under cold water and slip off the skins, using a small paring knife to remove the tough bits, if necessary.
  5. While the beets are roasting, place the vinegar and blackberries in a bowl and mash the berries thoroughly using the back of a fork or potato masher.
  6. Strain the mixture through a fine wire sieve.
  7. Press all of the liquid out into a large cup or small mixing bowl.
  8. Add the olive oil and honey to the vinegar mixture and give it a good whisk.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Place approximately 1 cup of greens on the center of each plate.
  11. Arrange 4 of the quartered beets around the greens, using two different colors of beets if you have them.
  12. Then place 2 of the quartered figs and a few blackberries on each plate.
  13. Cut small pieces of the Stilton off the wedge and scatter chunks of the cheese over the greens and you may even want to place a small wedge of the cheese on the side of the salad.
  14. Sprinkle the walnuts over the salad and drizzle with the dressing.

Roasted-beet-and-fig-salad

Enjoy!

fig beet salad

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