If you’ve been following my blog you know that I’ve been reading a lot lately, the quantity of which is a true testament to the sad and pathetic state of my social life. Though it’s not necessarily an improvement of my social life, I have started cooking more. The greens and potatoes that filled my CSA box over the winter are giving way to more summer vegetables that don’t lend themselves to being pureed altogether and just thrown in the refrigerator for later reheating. Consequently, I’ve been forced to make an effort again and find some new recipes to use up my box of veggies. Which is good. We all need to bring new and fresh things into our lives so we don’t fall into a boring rut.
I saw this recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new book and thought it looked good. Since I had cauliflower, broccoli and romanesco on hand, I decided to throw them all in. I also ended up modifying the sauce because I didn’t have any seeded mustard, but overall this was really good.
Roasted Cauliflower & Garbanzo Beans
Adapted from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow
1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained & dried
1 small head each of cauliflower, broccoli, and romanesco, cut into bite size pieces
2T Dijon mustard
1T white wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss together cauliflower, broccoli and romanesco with 3T olive oil and some sea salt. Pour onto baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 40-45 minutes, stirring halfway through, until browned.
Mix together the mustard, vinegar and 2T olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add more seasoning or oil to taste. Pour over roasted vegetables and serve.
Pretty much everyone know who Cleopatra was. Her love affairs with Julius Caesar and then Marc Antony are legendary. I did not know, however, that her sole surviving child was a daughter who left a very distinct legacy in what is modern day Algeria. Michelle Moran’s Cleopatra’s Daughter explores Cleopatra Selene’s world after Octavian defeated her father in battle and her mother famously committed suicide by snake bite. Moran does a wonderful job of recreating ancient Rome and Selene’s life there, though truly most of it is speculation as there is very little information about what happened to Cleopatra’s daughter other than basic facts.
I always enjoy books about other cultures, especially ones that are so different from mine. I picked up Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea hoping to get some insight into women in the Muslim world and how they really feel about the restrictions placed on them in their society. Girls of Riyadh delves into the dating scene of wealthy Saudi young women. Except when I say dating that’s more to put it into perspective from a Western standpoint, because there is no mixing of the sexes in Saudi Arabia and marriages are arranged by families and girls/women have no say in them. Many times they don’t even meet their soon-to-be-husbands until everything has already been arranged. These woman are intelligent and educated, having gone to college, some to Western universities where they dressed and acted like Americans. I still don’t understand why they willing go back to a life behind a burqa, but I do understand the emphasis on family in their society. There are many Americans who put up with a lot because they don’t want to break ties with their family. They feel the support and sense of community they get is worth giving in on other issues. Bottom line, what I learned from this book is that women are the same all over. We all want a loving relationship. The relationship issues the girls in Riyadh face are similar to the ones women face all over the world. Does he love me? Do I love him? Saudi women simply have some added baggage in the way of an open, loving relationship.