"Salad days" is an idiomatic expression, referring to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person. More modern use, especially in the United States, refers to a person's heyday when somebody was at the peak of their abilities—not necessarily in that person's youth. (Wikipedia)
If I were my daughter, I'd be breaking into a tuneless rendition of the Dora the Explorer celebration song right about now: "We did it, we did it, we did it! Yay! Lo hicimos! We did it! ... We posted to our blog, every day, we did it, we did it, we did it, hooray!"
And even though my husband and I mock Dora, she's got a point: the completion of this adventure is worth celebrating. I won't pretend it was easy. And I don't think that I could say I proved to myself, as I did last time I did NaBloPoMo last July (completely cheating, by the way, since I was on vacation for the beginning of that month and sick for another few days in the middle), that writing "naturally" begets writing. It was a hard month to write, for many reasons, and there were days I didn't think I would come up with anything at all.
I *am* glad I persevered, though, because I feel (silly as this sounds) like I've "earned back" the right to attend BlogHer at the end of July. Which, by the way, I'm looking forward to every bit as much as I'm looking forward to vacation with the family this week ... and possibly even more. Though I don't plan to stop blogging any time soon, I'm not sure how much I will get to write once my new job starts, and this was a fitting way to end my time at home.
So here's a celebratory salad for you, perfect for holiday potluck parties. Thanks for coming back here day after day and commenting, helping me make my "salad days" a reality. See you on the flip side.
Warm Roasted Squash Salad with Farro and Chick Peas
If Heidi had thought this up, she would have made it first. Only she didn't. Here's to someone whom I consider one of my major inspirations in the kitchen.
3 zucchini or summer squash, washed, trimmed, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 large (preferably red) onion, chopped into 1/2" pieces
2 T. olive or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. farro, rinsed
1 1/2 c. water
1 14 oz can chick peas, rinsed/drained
2 T. mint/basil, finely minced
1/4 c. pepitas, toasted
feta or goat cheese to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 450°. Place zucchini, squash, onion and garlic in a large bowl, drizzle with oil and stir until all the veggies are coated. Sprinkle on salt and pepper and stir.
Spread veggies in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until just browned, stirring about half way through. Set aside to cool.
Bring farro and water to a boil in a medium pot. (You may salt the water if you like.) Cook 20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and the farro is soft and chewy. Set aside.
Re-warm zucchini, farro, and chick peas if necessary. In a large bowl, toss farro, zucchini, chick peas and pepitas with mint/basil. Sprinkle with feta/goat cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.