roasted beet, prosciutto, pear and goat cheese salad with a citrus vinegrette. a light ending to a heavy week.

There is nothing like a slightly warm, yet light salad, drizzled in a sweet tangy sauce to offset the earthiness of the vegetables. Anyone who knows me, whether acquaintance or good friend, knows my love of salad.  I crave it everyday, and this day was no different - however, I actually acted on it this time.
It was a busy day on Friday.  Also an odd day. I began my lunch by walking by a car and seeing a woman in the front seat calmly holding a giant fuchsia penis cake. Hm. Then, several minutes later, I heard this loud thump beside me - turns out a pigeon fell out of the sky beside me. No trees nearby, no power lines, nothing. Just out of nowhere. So I picked it up wanting to take it home (well, to the office beforehand) and nurse it back to health. But then it started bleeding and I realized that my meticulous boss wouldn't want a pigeon bleeding over his nice office - so I put it down gently. And then it died. So weird. And so sad. But so weird! 

Well, I was planning on going to the 12:10 holy communion at the Anglican church close to my work. Unfortunately, my boss only let me have a break at 2:30, so that was out. But after my odd, odd experiences, I needed some quiet. So I went to my other place of worship - the library.
Rows upon rows upon rows of books. I'm sure this is what heaven looks like. A musty smell envelopes you and the quiet becomes comforting. I just lose myself. There are so many worlds to be explored, so many things to learn, so many useless facts to store in my brain as conversation starters at socially awkward parties. The library is my friend, and has been since I was young. It feels like you are walking into the collective memories of people from all over the globe, and get to experience their thoughts, feelings or interpretations of life just by turning a page. 
After walking into that quiet place where I learn from others, I thought I would meander over to the quiet place where I could learn from God. Christ Church Cathedral on Burrard Street is a beautiful old Anglican church that I pass by every time I run an errand at Staples. It always seems to call to me from across the road, a place of peace and calm in the middle of the bustling city. It called, and this time, I responded.
Surrounded by tall buildings and busy people, you walk in and life slows - you can see every particle of dust catching the light from the stained glass windows, the old woman in the far corner with her head bowed and every breath worshiping, the child being shown the meaning of the windows by her father in hushed tones.  You walk in, and you feel God.
It was a busy day with a speck of calm somewhere in the middle: a late lunch, errands for my boss, some pigeon falling out the sky at me, and witnessing something that I hope will never be at my stagette party. After doing so many activities, I wasn't really wanting to stand in front of a hot stove, though I didn't want to just cook for one (Stelna helped with that predicament). The solution: (my favorite answer to a quandry) make a salad.

Salad has been popular since Roman and Greek times. It evolved as human history evolved. As there was more culinary integration through trade, spices and different ingredients were introduced. 'Sal' comes from salt, was the main ingredient in the dressings, and so the word salada, and then salate, and finally salad evolved. I don't think there is a more versatile dish, with a variety of textures, flavors and ingredients, it is the easiest thing to create.
Beet, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette and Caramelized Walnuts

6 small beets, scrubbed, tops and ends cut off
1 bag baby greens, or (as pictured above) spinach
1 pear, cut into small chunks
fresh goat cheese
1/2 c. candied walnuts

50 grams prosciutto (cut into strips)

1/2 shallot, minced
1/2 small lemon, juiced
1/2 orange, juiced
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp. brown sugar
several chunks (about 4/5) of good Australian candied ginger, minced
salt to taste
pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F.Wrap beetroot individually in tinfoil. Place in oven, cook for 45 mins to 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. Cut into rounds or quarters.

2. While cooking the beets, crisp the prosciutto strips in a frying pan with a touch of oil. Remove when slightly brown.

3. Mix the last 10 ingredients well (a blender usually works the best, but if you have to do it by hand, just get that wrist going!).

4. Divide the greens, pear, beets, and prosciutto evenly between plates. Crumble goat cheese (or feta if you are in a bind and have none) on the top. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top.

5. Pray. Eat. Enjoy.