How often do we clock in those extra hours at work, burn the midnight oil, take clients out to dinner, but do not invest nearly the amount of time for love? We throw ourselves into our careers and into our success and into the rat race, but are too afraid to throw ourselves into love in a similar manner – we have clearly deprioritized love! We make decisions to prioritize our kids’ schedules, our partner’s schedule, the volunteering, the extracurriculars, the book club, the parent association, the sports teams, the cycling club, but do not prioritize our love. We make the decision to root ourselves to one place like New York City, but if love happens to be in Seattle or San Francisco, we make a decision to not pursue love. We are actively voting against love. And perhaps worst, sometimes we vote for a list of requirements – status, wealth, looks, progeny – but certainly not love. When did we become a society that deprioritized love?
Despite the Indian summer we are experiencing here in California, my mind is already on autumn. And with autumn comes all the best autumn vegetables. So this meal is an ode to autumn, rich in butter and hearty vegetables; a medley of roasted squash, radish, dark leafy chard, quinoa, and a soft egg to tie it all together. Feel free to add roasted carrots or small purple potatoes or root veggies or other dark leafy greens.
Autumn Vegetable Roast
1 bunch of chard, washed and rib discarded
2 c butternut squash, diced
5 autumn radishes, de-stemmed and washed
1 c quinoa, cooked
1 egg, soft boiled (or per your preference)
Preheat oven to 375*F. Toss butternut squash in olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Bake until soft and golden on the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
Toss the whole radishes in melted butter and salt, and place in a small baking dish. Place in the same oven as the butternut squash and bake until soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. The skins will get all wrinkly and a knife should pierce the radish without any resistance. Remove from heat. Once cool enough to handle, cut in half.
Blanch chard in boiling water for 3 minutes, then immediately remove leaves and place in cold ice water. This will help the leaves stay nice and vibrant. You can shred the leaves into smaller, bite-size pieces, or keep them in larger leaves, up to you.
There is really no need for additional direction other than to toss all the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper, and add maybe a splash of fresh squeezed lemon. The dish is great as is. The egg from our hen is a bit nutty and super creamy. The butternut squash is sweet. The bite from the radish is eased from having been baked in butter. The chard retains its bitterness and texture. Overall – the dish is nutty and earthy and hits all the right autumn notes.
Prioritizing love is no easy feat. But I feel that a large portion of society hasn’t really even given it a fair shot. So how can love thrive when it’s not even nourished? When it’s not given an opportunity to live its potential? When it’s deprioritized?