This is an excerpt from Wanderlust: A Modern Yogi’s Guide to Discovering Your Best Self, a curation of ideas and practices from master yogis, provocative thinkers, mind-body experts, cutting-edge artists and innovative business leaders. Order your copy at wanderlust.com/wanderlust-book-discover-your-best-self/.
As someone who became a gardener in the concrete jungle of New York City, I say, if we can do it here, you really can do it anywhere. Growing food makes sense of so many things; it quiets the mind, it creates a richness and rhythm that affects your whole life, and of course, makes it more delicious.
Most of what I plant comes up easily—good soil, sun, and water make easy work of pea, bean, squash, radish, carrot, and leafy greens seeds. But, year after year, I fail at growing beets. Sure, there are books upon books where I could learn to do it right, but I’m happy to hop over to the farmer’s market and buy a bunch of sweet baby beets (red or yellow) and toss them with my own homegrown carrots, radishes, and arugula in this hearty salad, complemented with toasted hazelnuts and creamy chive dressing. Give it a shot. Roast some beets, invite some friends over and, you know, participate. You just may feed a revolution.
RECIPE: Roasted Root Vegetable and Farro Salad
8 red or yellow baby beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 young heirloom carrots or baby turnips, scrubbed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
1 tbsp honey
1 sprig fresh thyme
8 oz farro
1/4 cup full-fat plain yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus more as needed
2 tbsp finely chopped assorted fresh herbs
1 tbsp hazelnut oil
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 heaping handfuls arugula or baby leaf lettuce
Small handful toasted hazelnuts
Flaked sea salt
3 oz aged Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle the beets with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and roast until they can easily be pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the foil.
Combine the carrots, honey, thyme, and 1 cup water in a medium skillet over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender and the broth has reduced to a glaze, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Meanwhile, put the farro in a medium pot and add enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to low heat, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel the skins with a paring knife and quarter. Slice the radishes as thinly as possible with a mandoline or a very sharp knife.
To make the dressing: Whisk together the yogurt, lime juice, herbs, hazelnut oil, olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a medium bowl. Taste with a leaf of arugula; adjust the salt, pepper, or lime juice as needed.
Divide the farro among shallow bowls. Drain the carrots. Combine the beets, carrots, and arugula in a large bowl; toss together; and arrange over the farro. Top with the radishes, drizzle with the dressing, and sprinkle with hazelnuts and flaky salt. Generously grate or shave Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top with a vegetable peeler. Serve warm.
Photos by Sasha Juliard.
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite and is the food director of Real Simple magazine. She spent six years as a lead recipe developer for Food Network, and has appeared as a guest chef on Good Morning America. Her articles and recipes have been featured in numerous magazines, including Fitness, Health, Food Network Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living, and she has contributed to several cookbooks. In 2012, Sarah published her first cookbook, The Newlywed Cookbook, shortly after beginning her own marriage to a vegetarian. A former omnivore herself, Sarah was determined to make him wonderful, flavorful vegetarian food. Her new book, Feast, comes out of her commitment to that goal. She lives in New York City.