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A thoughtful blend of original ‪‎photography‬, ‪haiku‬ and ‪calligraphy‬; a cathartic journey upon fluid images and simple words.

15 Nov 2011

Roasted Beets and Butternut-squash salad with rice-noodles and Buffalo mozzarella in an Oriental dressing

Roasted Beets, Butternut-squash salad in an Oriental dressing
Daily rhythms, recognised by ringing bells, chirping birds or simmering pots, are what shape our lives. Rhythms are inherently characterized by repetitions and so our days repeat one after the other often without an appreciable perturbation in their structure.
We do attribute time-milestone quality to activities that otherwise would be simply dictated by unpredictable Nature. Breakfast at 8am, Lunch at 1pm, Dinner by 8pm; they already define how your day will be arranged, its activities, its different paces and flavours.
A slow started morning soon metamorphoses in a sprint-running sequel of wash, tuck, buckle, open, close, run, run, run. Lunch gives us a breath of fresh air, when we do not choose to keep on running, this time on a tapis-roulant perhaps. The slope leading down to 5pm is on sight. Dinner needs to be planned or ordered and then... Writing? Reading? Loving? Sleeping?

It is easy to get caught in the whirlpool of actions day after day until something forces us to stop, think and get frustrated. We revert then to more natural rhythms, paced by our body talks, by its whispers, by its urges.

We often loose contact with the superior wisdom that inhabit our body's messages, too faint to overcome the outer noise that fills up our heads. Every now and then we get unexplained cravings for strawberries or broccoli, even when we aren't pregnant. The reasoning-source behind them is the same: our body calls for attention, it needs something!
The presence of an "unborn" child makes us simply more reverent toward these calls.
Cravings aren't always simply dictated by our gluttony and they often deserves to be heard and followed. And it is even worse when they scream: "Sleeeeeep!!!". We haven't got the time to lay down and sleep, our list of chores is simply too long or we just feel the need to continue doing stuff to give a reason to our day.

But what actually makes our day worth being lived?
Our to-do list helps us to get an idea for the day just passed by, but I still feel that the supreme moment when our daily-feather gets weighted in front of the Past and Future gods relies in those minutes when we lower our guards and slowly slide into sleep.
Lowering the guard of our rational thinking is all that it takes to start the dialogue with oneself and hopefully smile at the dreams world and at the new day.

From our daily merry-go-rounds is hard to keep track of the landscape, to stop for a moment and contemplate the bigger picture that is our life.

Catania - Urban Ladscapes Catania - Urban Ladscapes
Often contemplating a photography can have this power. Its ability to focus and isolate a single moment from the cacophony that is the outside world, gives us the chance to abstract a single gesture into the realm of metaphors. These moments when we pierce the veil of daily routines are as precious as rare and they are not out of reach.
Also some cooking practices have this power of extraction, from the specific moment to the continuum of our life. Chopping a mountain of potatoes or carrots; waiting for them to roast in the hot embrace of the oven allowing us to get captured by the siren' song of their sizzling are examples of these special moments.

Autumn is then the perfect season when to experience what lies behind/beyond.
The way to the pot of gold is laid with pretty flowers, daunting monsters and powerful weapons; the rainbow is always on sight let's reach for it.

Roasted Beets and Butternut-squash salad with rice-noodles and Buffalo mozzarella in an Oriental dressing 

Roasted Beets, Butternut-squash salad in an Oriental dressing

Ingredients (serve 2): 
  • 400g red beets, peeled and cut into wedges 
  • 400g butternut-squash, peeled and cut into wedges 
  • 2 bundles of rice noodle, soaked in hot water or vegetable stock 
  • 1 buffalo mozzarella 
  • 1/2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2tbsp sake 
  • 1tsp soy sauce 
  • 3tsp verjus 
  • 1/2 shallot, finely minced 
  • 1/2tsp Dijon mustard 
  • few drops of roasted sesame oil 

Preheat your oven to 220C/430F, toss the red-beets wedges with some olive oil and roast for 20 minutes; add then the butternut-squash wedges also tossed in a little olive oil and roast for another 20 minutes or until ready.

In the meantime prepare the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients and seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
When the vegetable will be ready, take them out of the oven and let them cool down for a few minutes.

Toss then the rice noodles with the roasted vegetables and the dressing, place on serving plates with pieces of the buffalo mozzarella.


  1. The first few paragraphs are awesome read...and the salad looks like simplicity at its best!

  2. Great recipe ! I made it! It`s delicious!!! Thanks for sharing!