That evening I lay down, propped
across his chest,
A comforting thing
his cool expanse of breath. With each
hope transferred, at-home
Solid centering root,
Winter Roast Roots, Black Rice + Figs, serves 6 or so, as a side
Some weeks feel inextricably more difficult than they need to. This dish is the sort of winter tonic to show the negative energies I’ve a bit of sassafras yet. Moody, dramatic, a touch sweet, earthy. Roast up any combination of winter vegetables. Parsnips and celeriac are January favorites. Kohlrabi are clever, if elusive. They’re best found in a winter garden round these parts. Ask a farmer. Or your eccentric neighbor with a fondness for funky purple vegetables. Mushrooms make a lovely addition. Don’t forget the figs. They add just the right touch.
2-3 parsnips, roughly chopped
2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
3 kohlrabi, stems removed, peeled and roughly chopped
4-5 stems thyme, or 1/4 tsp. dried
1 tsp. salt, plus additional salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup black rice, rinsed
2 1/4 cups water
1 small bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
1/2 cup dried figs, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prep the roots and toss them with the salt, a dash of black pepper, and olive oil. Roast until tender, 45 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, combine the black rice and water and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Turn down to low, cover and cook for 40 minutes.
While rice and roots are cooking, dice figs, and prepare the kale. A couple minutes before the vegetables come from the oven, toss in the kale and allow to wilt. Then, remove the vegetables from the oven, toss with the rice, figs, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.