Friday, February 24, 2012


Some people are not afraid of the cold and others regard it with utter contempt. Even if I'm the kind of person who enjoys every single period of the year, I nonetheless definitely prefer the fresher season as I hate to sweat excessively or get sunburnt like a shrimp on a barbie.

Sometimes I wonder if those predispositions are linked to my DNA or is it just a personal preference. What if our genes influenced our manner of conducting ourselves and our traits of character? Hmmm, that is quite a difficult question to answer, however I believe that if our health can be defined by our bloodline, then there are chances that our emotions, temperament and identity is also outlined by it.

You see, my father's ancestors were Swiss mountainers who might have had Danish or English origins (my family name is NOT Swiss at all). Then, on my my mother's side they came from the rugged areas of Northern England where Viking settlers made themselves at home and also from European Russia, a place which is famous for its dreadful freezingness.

Because of this heritage, as a child my hair was so straw-straight and pale blond that I had the appearence of a Swedish little girl (my eyes are blue and my skin is fair too, hence the similarities). It is the reason why I was so popular amongst Japanese tourists who invariably asked my parents if they could shoot my portrait every time they caught a sight of me. Those features attracted them like crazy...
The care with which these nations cherished their hair was remarkable. A striking instance of their solicitude respecting it, is afforded by a young warrior who was condemned to be beheaded. His last and most earnest request was, that it might not be stained with his blood, or exposed, after his death, to the rude touch of a slave. In some instances, ringlets of auburn hair have been found in the tombs of the early Britons.
- Excerpt form "The Scottish Gael" by J. Logan
The light thou beholdest
Stream through the heavens,
In flashes of crimson,
Is but my red beard
Blown by the night-wind,
Affrighting the nations!
Jove is my brother;
Mine eyes are the lightning;
The wheels of my chariot
Roll in the thunder,
The blows of my hammer
Ring in the earthquake!
- "The Challenge of Thor" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sadly, the older I grew, the darker and frizzier my mane became. Nowadays, my locks are light auburn colored with golden highlights and they are still quite wavy. Once again, this is another sign of the legacy of my forefathers as both my complexion and reddish-brown tint occurs most frequently in the phenotypes originating in Northern Europe*, so it is no surprise if my spirit is that of a "true daughter of Thor".

*Scandinavia, Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, the Benelux countries, France, Poland and Russia - Leading the pack, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England have the most redheads. Scotland has the highest proportion with 13% having red hair and ~ 40% possessing the recessive redhead gene. Ireland is second highest with ~ 10% having it and 40% carrying the gene.

Beet Salad BibI Pic 1 3 bis
~ Picture taken by my late English grandfather ~

I carry the love for harsh and dramatic weather within my blood. It is encoded in my genetic material and deeply rooted in me. There is no doubt about that. Yet, I must admit that although I find crisp air rather envigorating, the last two weeks' Polar conditions took a toll on me and brought my mood down since I didn't set a foot out of the door from fear of being transformed into a giant human icicle!

Well, in my defense, until not long ago, Europe had been experiencing the worst Winter in decades. On the 27th of January we were hit be a coldwave that brushed across the continent, brought blizzards and caused the thermometer to dip to bitter levels. Temperatures of - 35.1° C were recorded during the night in the Swiss Alps (though nothing quite like the -41.8° C recorded in 1987 in La Brévine, Neuchâtel) and in Geneva they sank to - 13° C. Besides, massive snowfalls transformed our landscapes into Siberian wastelands, intense frost swept through the country and the Bise (mean and dry North-Eastern wind) was so violent it went right through you. Brrrrrrr!

The town of Geneva resembled a deserted Illinois ghost town and the rural areas looked like the icy Finnish tundra. Needless to say that there weren't many crowds defying the benumbing elements. The only courageous individuals who braved the harsh conditions were disciplined blue-collars who wore impressive layers of clothes and rushed through the streets as if it was a matter of life and death.
O Winter ruler of the inverted year. . . I crown thee king of intimate delights, Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness, And all the comforts that the lowly roof Of undisturb'd Retirement, and the hours Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
- William Cowper
On the positive side, this kind of climate is perfect for hibernating, cocooning, taking care of yourself, cuddling with that special someone, finding excuses to stay home, lying longer in your snug bed, eating more comforting foods than usual (I nourish myself in a balanced way, but when the days are dark and glacial it is difficult not want to uplift your mood with cheering grub such as chocolate or cakes) and for being as lazy as a ferret.
But, as we all know, even if this kind of behavior is good for our soul, it is impossible to close our eyes on the negative impact all this hedonistically "shameless" binging and sluggish lifetsyle has on our body. I have to admit that while my trousers still fit me, I wish they'd be a little less tight around the hips, hence I've decided to take things in hand and start cutting down on hyper-calorific treats as well as exercizing again.

Spring is around the corner and I really want to be in shape when the warm rays of the sun caress my skin and nature is blooming. I would be terribly angry with myself if I felt unwell and out of breath while riding my bike through the fields or while walking up the Salève mountain. So, in order to attain my goal, my plan is to re-tone my muscles, have a better control of what I devour and limitate my ingestion of flour, sugary goods as well as nuts.

Having said that, I have to point out that I refuse to go on any diet as I don't find it is a good and lasting solution to weight gain. In my opinion, instead of fasting like an anorexic model, following the latest nutrionists' doolally fads or transforming into a fitness fascist, one should lead a harmonious life by giving priority to mindful nutrition and physical activity without ever forgetting to find pleasure in food and joy in existence.

Consequently, at the moment, big quantities of vegetables are on the menu, but that is no problem for me as I adore greens and I'm used to cooking with them. It is rare that I come across one veggie I hate or simply cannot stomach. In fact, I am quite a legume enthusiast.

One of my favorite veggies is beet. This gorgeous root is available in a range of pretty colors that illuminate the plate, has an interesting sweet and earthy flavor which is really refined and is extremely versatile. Beetroot is so awesome and totally indispensable. It's a real must-have in my kitchen. I can't imagine not using it on a regular basis as I appreciate inventing exotic or regional recipes with it.

My most recent creation is a classy, easy, fresh, nourishing, flavorful and nutrient-ladden salad which consists of thin slices of blanched beetroots that have been marinaded in a balsamic vinegar vinaigrette and which are topped with onions rings, cottage cheese, walnuts and a soft-boiled egg. This meatless course makes a great main dish if accompanied by a few slices of dark rye bread/crackers or a few buttered potatoes. Wonderful!

~Beet Salad With Cottage Cheese & A Runny Egg ~
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, February 2012.

Serves 4.

Ingredients For The "Vinaigrette":
5 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs Malt vinegar
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tsp Kikkoman (sweet)
A few drops of Chipotle Tabasco
Balck pepper, to taste
Fine sea salt, to taste
Ingredients For The "Salad":
900g Cooked beetroot, peeled & cut into thinnish slices
1 Onion, thinly sliced into rounds
200g Cottage cheese
4 Big Eggs, soft-boiled (see method)
A handful walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Pimentón or Espelette pepper, for sprinkling

Beet Salad 1 1 bis
Method For The "Vinaigrette":
1. In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together.
Method For The "Salad":
2. Add the beetroot slices to the vinaigrette, mix delicately and let marinade for about 1 hour.
3. Prepare 4 plates and arrange the slices on them.
4. Add the onion slices and the cottage cheese.
5. Place a soft-boiled egg on top of each salad and cut it open.
6. Sprinkle with the walnuts and the pimentón or Espelette pepper.
7. Serve.

When I need cooked beets, I generally buy them already boiled (it saves time and in that way I always have them on hand in my fridge), but you can also cook yours at home (see method).
Instead of using walnuts, you can sprinkle your salad with toasted pumpkin seeds or any other nut/seed of your choice.
The soft-boiled eggs can easily be replaced by a poached or fried eggs.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as main course with some wholesome bread (ex. Norwegian Mountain Bread) or some boiled/jacket potatoes with butter.

Beet Salad 7 2 bis
~ Salade De Betteraves, Cottage Cheese Et Oeuf Mollet ~
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Février 2012.

Pour 4 personnes.

Ingrédients Pour La "Vinaigrette":

5 CS de Vinaigre balsamique
2 CS de Vinaigre de malte
2 CS d'Huile d'olive
1 CS de Kikkoman (doux)
Quelques gouttes de Chipotle Tabasco
Poivre noir, selon goût
Sel de mer fin, selon goût
Ingrédients Pour La "Salade":
900g de Betteraves cuites, pelées et coupées en fines tranches
1 Oignon, finement coupé en rondelles
200g  Cottage cheese
4 Gros Oeufs mollets (voir méthode)
Une poignée de noix de Grenoble, grillées et hachées grossièrement
Pimentón ou piment d'Espelette, pour saupoudrer

Beet Salad Tree 1 1 bis

Méthode Pour La "Vinaigrette":
1. Dans un grand bol, mélanger ensemble tous les ingrédients pour la vinaigrette.
Méthode Pour La "Salade":
2. Ajouter les tranches de betterave à la vinaigrette, mélanger délicatement et laisser mariner pendant environ 1 heure.
3. Préparez 4 assiettes et y disposer les tranches.
4. Ajouter les rondelles d'oignon et le cottage cheese.
5. Placer un œuf mollet sur le dessus de chaque salade et l'ouvrir en deux avec la pointe d'un couteau.
6. Saupoudrer avec les noix et le poivre d'Espelette ou le pimentón.

7. Servir.


En général, lorsque j'ai besoin de bettraves cuites, je les achète déjà cuites (cela économise du temps et de cette manière je les ai toujours sous la main), mais vous pouvez aussi cuire les votres à la maison (voir la méthode).

Au lieu d'utiliser des noix de Grenoble, pourquoi ne pas saupoudrer vos salades avec des graines de citrouille ou les noix/graines de votre choix.
Les œufs mollets peuvent être remplacés par des oeufs pochés ou à la poêle.

Idée de présentation:

Servir comme plat principal avec du pain complet (ex. pain de montagne norvégien) ou quelques pommes de terre cuites à l'eau/au four et servies avec du beurre.

Beet Salad Glass 2 1 bis


  1. J'ai faim...en voyant ce régal...c'est ainsi que j'aime les betteraves, non en petits cubes comme on le voit toujours...cette salade me fait très très envie..
    belle journée

  2. Yum and simple salad. I would eat this for lunch now. I love the last photo!

  3. What an adorable photo of you with the Japanese lady Rosa. No wonder they wanted you to pose with them.

    I don't ever want to be cold again in my life, so we "follow the sun" when it moves south and then journey back with it as it goes north. As a Jimmy Buffet song would say, "I keep my flip-flops in Dixie."

    Your beet salad is gorgeous and the egg is perfectly cooked. My husband would hug you for a plate as I don't prepare beets for him. (shame on me!).

  4. The photo of the snow covered tree is absolutely beautiful.
    Its interesting how the hair color changes. I've noticed in Central Asia - some babies are born with blond or light hair and it turns black later

  5. Tout ce que j'aime dans cette belle entrée. Bisous et bon WE

  6. Jolie et délicieuse cette salade avec l'oeuf mollet!

  7. Lovely salad!
    You looked so cute in the picture!

  8. J'adore ta belle salade hivernale Rosa! Bon week end!

  9. Quelle belle salade ! Photos sublimes...j'adore le coulant parfait de l’œuf ! Miam :)

  10. Beets are delicious and so healthy for you...perfect with cheese too!

  11. This beet salad looks delicious, I love their deep aubergine colour!

    I had no idea about your heritage. Danish, Viking, and exotic!

    I don't believe in diets either. (The years I spent trapped inside the grey-walled world an eating disorder have taught me that our bodies need nourishment, not deprivation.) And a little exercise, in moderation, never hurts either. :)

  12. I feel the histories of our ancestors are always fascinating. that picture with u and the japanize lady is so timeless perfect, very magical.

    I love your pictures especially the first one and the one with the nuts. nuts have some attractive lines, fascinating.

    In general great heathy recipe and a post written with lots of passion. I enjoyed my read.

  13. ho fatto le rape rosse in vari modi e preferisco prenderle fresche anche se talvolta le prendo già cotte per pigrizia, a me piacciono molto anche fatte a carpaccio crude e se sei curiosa basterà digitare rape rosse nella ricerca del mio blog e ne troverai una piccola raccolta ^___^
    dalla foto, eri una stupenda bambina e immagino ora, una bella ragazza indipendentemente dal colore dei capelli ciauzzzzzz ;-)

  14. Who would say "cheese" on your pretty photo ?
    An appetizing dish and a wonderful tree.

  15. Magnifique écriture et photos. Que du talent. Bon week-end!

  16. Gorgeous salad :-)the pics r so awesome n loved ur post!


  17. awesome recipe and pictures,very interesting combination for beetroot,i want to try this soon!:)

  18. beautiful pics, as always, love the way the yolk is slightly runny its just perfectly cooked! ur baby pic is so adorable, im curious to know why hair colour would change that way, its fascinating!

  19. Beautiful salad Rosa! Looks almost too good to eat!


  20. I like the earthy flavour of beets and their lovely colour! Your salad looks delicious and original!
    You looked so cute in the photo Rosa! Have a great day,

  21. Beautiful photos! love the salad recipe!

  22. You are a girl after my own heart, Rosa! I love every component of this dish!

  23. sweetcarolinescooking8:41 PM, February 24, 2012

    So gourmet and fancy, I love this Rosa!! Great presentation, too. xx

  24. Your dish is like a paint!! so artistic and appetizing!!! oh there are also there the snow ;)
    see you soon

  25. Love this Rosa look amazing and delicious!

  26. your egg is perfectly cooked.
    took me a long time to master the perfect soft boiled egg, and omelets too.
    rosa may! that baby/child photo of you is PRICELESS! So stinking cute.!

  27. That is one perfect egg. A great way to showcase it, too, with the bright hue of the beets.

  28. What a beautiful meal - the egg just beckons. I wish I had cold-weather genes since I live in a cold climate. But I do look at it as a time to regroup! Your childhood photo enchants!

  29. Delicious! Especially with that runny egg!

  30. I really like your attitude about regaining health after the winter "layer" is added from indulging in more savory and heavy foods.
    The Salad is a work of art!

  31. Savoureux, simple et coloré, j'aime beaucoup !
    Il y a pas si longtemps j'ai préparé de la faisselle maison au lait de chèvre : hyper rapide et délicieux.

    Je te souhaite un beau WE.


  32. The salad looks like a painting and beets looks like a velvet sheet of paper. Gorgeous click!

  33. Hehehe Japanese tourist part made me laugh. Oh you look so cute in that picture! I love your beets salad. Beet is my favorite but never had it with cottage cheese or eggs. Got to try this.

  34. Une jolie association réalisée dans cette assiette
    Je te souhaite une excellent WE

  35. Loved the description of walnut in that pic and that runny egg is so appetising. I used to love the blanched beets in my salad when i was working in London. The beets were the reason i looked forward to lunch. Your salad looks delicious and the photos are all fab as always.

  36. Beautifully written, Rosa. While you are having a severe winter, we have had very warm temperatures here in Georgia-crazy, isn't it? Your egg salad with the beets, walnuts and runny egg looks divine and the photo of the walnuts in the silver footed bowl is awesome.

  37. What a lovely, well rounded post Rosa.
    The connections you make always bring me a little closer to understanding the lady behind the talented blogger you are ;o) could I not love this dish. And...BTW...your plate presentation looks soooo happy!


  38. Hi Rosa,
    Such a simple and beautiful salad!
    Love your photos!!!

  39. deliziosa la tua insalata, adoro la barbabietola e so che si sposa benissimo con il formaggio...foto stupende!!! specie quella con le noci!
    bravissima mia cara ti seguo sempre con affetto!


  40. une jolie marguerite à déguster !!pierre

  41. Querida Rosa me encantan las fotos Con bellas imágenes ,el huevo está muy perfecto una mesa de ensueño,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  42. delicioso plato y preciosas fotos como siempre. Saludos.

  43. A wonderful salad with a stunning combo of colors and flavors. Adore beet more cottage and walnuts :)

    Have a great weekend,


  44. A wonderful story thank you for sharing with us. I would love this beet salad for dinner!

  45. Beautiful salad, Rosa!! Almost too good to eat :)

    You look so cute in that photo!!

  46. Dear Rosa, I enjoyed very much your post. It is very interesting to discover our roots and what makes us who we are. Thank you for sharing this.
    The beet salad and egg is very nourishing and a good recipe.
    Eating more veggies is good for us and will keep us in tip-top shape. Blessings my dear, Catherine xoxo

  47. Runny eggs are my favorite - this looks delicious!

  48. Beautiful salad. Love, love, love beets. I always have some preserved in vinegar and use them all the time.

  49. Just reading this post made me feel the cold! This beetroot dish is so pretty - love the colours - and the runny egg looks gorgeous.

  50. It looks like a wonderful salad.

  51. wow I love that photo of you and your mother...really really beautiful. And my 2nd favourite is that bowl of walnuts ;-) You are such a talented photographer.
    Had a salad with roasted beet today for the I wonder why I forgot to add a runny egg...

  52. ANGIE'S RECIPES: Thanks! In fact, this is not my mother, but a Japanese tourist... ;-) Yes, without the egg, it isn't quite the same, LOL!

  53. Woah!! That egg is cooked to pure perfection!!

  54. Beautiful memories and the salad looks so refreshing. love that photo of walnut!

  55. I am really missing the snow (we rarely see it here) and I like the cold weather much better. I also like beets and that is a lovely salad. Walnuts seem to go with beets so well.

  56. Beautiful post and lovely recipe. Cute photo too!

  57. C'est si simple et si bon, j'aime beaucoup la jolie présentation en fleur. Avant je mangeais beaucoup de betterave car j'adore ca, et puis depuis que je suis en Suède j'en mange moins, je pense qu'on n'en trouve pas de prêt comme en France dans les supermarchés. Mais ta recette me fait envie, vivement que j'en remange. Bonne semaine!

  58. Le genre de salade que j'affectionne.

  59. Your photos make anything look delicious. i love beets in any form, but with that runny egg, they're especially intriguing. i like all the seasons too. They each have their advantages.

  60. Bon, ca c'est une addiction que je ne partage pas avec toi. Mais comme toujours j'adore tes photos, et particulierement celle des noix (aussi la petite fille blonde que tu etais autrefois).

  61. HI Rosa,
    What a fantastic photo of yours with the japanese lady. Sublime!!!
    The beet salad looks so delicious and yummy!
    Cheers and hope you have a fantastic week,

  62. Runny eggs rock my world ~ always. As do wintery trees topped with snow. Beautiful!

  63. I hate repeating myself, but you make it impossible not to, so here it goes: I loved this post!

    (how boring can I be? over and over and over saying the same... ;-)

    the black and white photo your Grandpa took is a work of art, I love B&W, to me they have a level of expression that colors seem to overpower.

    and your beet salad with the egg... hummmmmmmmm

  64. I grew up enduring the cold, Illinois winters, but I much prefer the very mild winter months in Texas where I live now. And, I love winter vegetables. Your beet salad looks perfect with the egg on top!

  65. I adore runny eggs, yours looks amazing Rosa. As does your salad, so delicious with simple flavours, the way a good salad should be. Your photos are just so beautiful, as always. You really do have an amazing talent.

  66. Out in Texas, the spring and the fall times are the most beautiful. I do not enjoy if its too cold, tho I love the snow.

    What a cute photo Rosa. you haven't changed at all!

    The ingredients of the salad is calling my name! I would not think of this combo, but it might soon become my lunch!

  67. oh how i love everything about this! your history, your culture and that portrait--it's most definitely you! Your eyes haven't changed a bit! Great looking salad, too! Look at that. We were working on beetroot at the same time!

  68. Love that picture of the bowl of walnuts Rosa! :D And I don't know if it is genetics but my sister loves the cold but I love the heat! :P

  69. what an interesting combination of ingredients! they certainly combine to form a lovely image, and i'll bet they taste magnificent together too. :)

  70. I have to know where you found cottage cheese. can't find it t ll here in the south of France.

  71. Beautiful, beautiful pictures. The idea of the runny egg yolk and the beets in the salad made me salivate. It sound like a delicious combination. I agree with you, love of cold or warm weather must be in our DNA. All I can say is I love seasons even though I do enjoy summer as much as the next person.

  72. I love wild and dramatic weather too, Rosa. :-) Perhaps it's my Viking roots as well. :-) Love this homey and delicious recipe. :-)

  73. Rosa, you were so adorable (well, you still are), but what an imp! I can almost hear your laughter looking at that wonderful photo! Spring has arrived in Nantes after a much-too-short winter and almost no snow... and husband has been doing the cooking which means heavier dishes. I love the look of this pretty salad and the flavors and textures must be wonderful. Beautiful too.

  74. Your photos are spectacular Rosa. We love beets at my house...this is a perfect lunch as far as I'm concerned.

  75. Another amazing post! And a great looking salad! Totally up my alley!

  76. This is a gorgeous salad!

    I'm with you Rosa. I love cooler weather. You were such an adorable child!!

  77. Lovely post. Beets are a staple in my cooking. I love them every way and post more recipes with beets than any other veg. And the walnut shots are simply gorgeous!


  78. I am very fair skinned as well, and you would think that winter would be preferred, but I am a wimp with the cold :)

    This is a gorgeous idea for a salad...such a lovely array of texture, color and flavors!

  79. Rosa, the pictures are awesome, especially the one from your for the salad, you got me on the runny egg...tasty combination with beets, cottage cheese and simple and yet so elegant.
    Hope you are having a fabulous week :)

  80. Such a beautiful presentation. I'm not a cold weather person at all. I think it is in the DNA.

  81. The photos look so stunning that I am sure without a doubt, your dish must be too ;)

  82. Love the runny egg! That is exactly the way I like to have my eggs :) Oh and the photo of you with the Japanese tourist is adorable!

  83. Beautiful as always. For me the egg always has to be runny!

  84. Me encanta el plato y los ingredientes!!
    Un besito ^^

  85. Rosa, I must have this..that runny egg over the beets and cottage cheese is driving me crazy! That said, you have really blossomed into a professional and beautiful photographer. I'm simply awed by your photos.

  86. I'm not sure about the weather. I thought I loved cold, until I experienced temperatures below -10C. I just can't cope with them! Maybe it is in my genes after all. Anyway, spring will soon arrive.

    Lovely salad combination, and the pictures are breathtaking! I like roasting beetroots. Whenever I have the oven on, I throw a couple of them in, well wrapped in foil, and then I peel them and freeze them if I don't need them soon.

  87. Wow what a delicious looking salad and the photos are stunning!

  88. Such a wonderful photo taken by your grand father!

    Beet salad is always my favorite. I like the runny egg addition to it.

  89. You're so right about diets not working and sensible eating and exercising is the only way to go. I love this recipe! Especially since I started a new healthy blog called beetroot and Halloumi ..:) I would love to feature your recipe there! I'll tweet you about it!

  90. While I do prefer the warmer months, I agree that winter is perfect for cocooning with the one you love at home.

  91. Love how you've presented it Rosa! Just beautiful.

  92. I can't imagine living anywhere that it doesn't snow. This salad looks light but satisfying. Your walnuts look so incredible and vibrant!

  93. I've always enjoyed beets and eggs, but have never had them together. And why not?

    Rosa, you were a living doll in that photo!

  94. Love the pictures, especially the tree laden with snow. I wish more people believed as you do about food and heatlh, balance without the crazy diets. The beet salad looks great. After what you said about the European cold wave, I can't complain about the bit of rain we have been getting.

  95. I was in Spain during that cold spell, and holy cow, it was freezing! My goodness, I had so many layers on I looked like the Michelin man. Your salad looks divine. I love beets.

  96. This is just what I need after 20 days of heavy eating in Argentina! So healthy;;on my shopping list tomorrow!

  97. Oh what a gorgeous salad! Love the pic of you as a little girl too :)

  98. The photo of the egg is pure perfection. Gorgeous!