Friday, December 20, 2013


A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.
- George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

So the winter comes
where we belong
I feel the cold
within my heart
I see the night
deep in your eyes
the winter comes at last...

- Covenant, Winter Comes
As Winterfell characters often remark in Game of Thrones: "winter is coming".

Winter is nearing and there is absolutely no doubt about that. You can feel it in your lungs with every breath you take, smell it in the air, taste its watery sapidity, hear its broisterous complaint and deadly silence, and witness it through your eyes focused on barren landscapes and white mountain tops. Everywhere there are signs of the impending bitter season and whether you want it or not, it is only the beginning. So if you are wise enough, you'd better get your duvet jackets, wolly hats, fleece scarves and leather gloves out of the wardrobe or you'll end up frozen like an icicle...
Let us love the winter for it is the spring of geniuses.
- Pietro Aretino

December is an old friend; it reminds you of the past, together you share some laughs and tears, you feel warm-hearted though it’s freezing outside
- Mohamed Atef
Most people fear and loathe this gloomy and glacial period of the year, but not me. Wintry weather makes me gleeful and dissemilarly to a majority of the population, I never get a bad case of the blues once the trees are stark naked and the fall sunlight commences to fade. As a matter of fact, when November dies and painfully gives birth to December, glowing joy and powerful positiveness invades the very core of my soul. This is paradise!

After all I am a capricorn who was born on a frigid full moon Christmas morning (the 25th, precisely) and I have Helvetic, British and Russian blood running through my veins (and maybe a little Danish blood too). Consequently, I'm related to an ancient race of humans (the Teutons, Northmen and Slavs) reputed for having the capacity to brave the cold and being insensible to extreme meteorologic conditions - I guess this also explains my strong attraction to Northern Hemisphere countries and regions such as Great Britain, Scandinavia, Canada, Alaska, Siberia, etc... It's in my genes.

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
- Albert Camus, The Stranger

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass 
When gusts of freezing wind chill you to the bones, croaking crows break the ghastly quietude, mesmerizing starling murmurations - similar to evil clouds - hover over towns, snow heavily tumbles down like chalky rose petals and starts flirting with the plains, nature is frozen still, duck egg blue skies magically appear through the thick fog, darkness covers the countryside and a fiery sunsets illuminate the horizon, my brain becomes hyperactive, my energy is multiplied and exhilaration kicks in.

Jack Frost is my drug, my muse, my guide, my lover and my friend. He knocks me off my feet, inspires me, stimulates my intellect, helps me focus on what's important in life, puts me in a happy and romantic mood, fills me with endless hope, feeds my hunger for adventure, uplifts my spirit and gets me going.

From December though March, I savor every passing moment and enjoy the soothing comfort of my snuggly apartment, relish rustic food that sticks to the ribs (only on weekends though, otherwise I'd end up looking like a Michellin woman!) and brings a grin of satisfaction to my face, appreciate cuddling up on the settee with a cup of steaming cappuccino or spicy chai and revel in spending some cosy afternoons with my friends or evenings with my dearest. It is the time for relaxing at home and engaging in cheering activities.

Another reason for me to get all flushed and excited is the delightful array of versatile vegetables, fabulous fruits and enticing produces which make their entry on market stalls once autumn has waved us farewell. There is so much on offer that I never know what to choose when I visit my favorite "marché aux légumes" in Rive. Between fennel, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, Belgian endives, leeks, pumpkins, celeriac, carrots, treviso (radicchio), parsnips, beets, apples, oranges, pears, mandarins, pomegranates, kumquats, grapefruits, litchis, kiwis, sausages, sauerkraut, vacherin Mont d'Or and chestnuts, my heart wavers...

At my table, variety rules and I rarely serve the same legume twice in the same week, hence my fridge is chock-a-block full with greens of many colors, shapes and sizes. Not only do I adore eating those harbaceus plants, but I also have loads of fun inventing new dishes with them.

While some of my experiments are only worth being metioned on my Facebook page (where I speak about my daily meals), some of the recipes I put together are just too exquisite not to be fully shared on my blog. It is the case with one of my latest creations to date: a festive "Farro Salad With Roasted Pumpkin, Dried Cranberries And Ras-El-Hanout Vinaigrette" inspired by my fondness for Middle Eastern, North-African and Mediterranean cuisine.

This unique, luscious, sweet and savory, hearty, spicy and colorful main course is a real showstopper. Indeed, nothing captures the attention more than a glorious bouquet of flavors as well as a harmonious combination of aromas and textures - the roasted and soft pumpkin, nutty and crunchy farro, sour and chewy cranberries, fragrant dill, heady mustard, deeply toasted sesame seeds, pungent citrus zest, creamy tahini and exotic ras-el-hanout spice come together just marvelously.

A hors-d'oeuvre which is perfect for any occasion - be it lunch, supper, a picnic, your family's Yuletide banquet or New Year's Eve Party - and will please both vegetarians and carnivores alike - it can be served per se or as accompaniment to meat, fish, cheese, tofu or seitan.

Give it a try, you'll be conquered!

Farro Salad With Pumpkin, Dried Cranberries And Ras-El-Hanout
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, December 2013.

Serves 2.

Ingredients For The Salad:
550g Pumpkin, roasted (see recipe) and cut into 1cm/0.39inch cubes
250g Raw farro, cooked (see recipe)
1 Onion (small), chopped finely
The zest of 1 organic lemon
3 Tbs Sesame seeds, toasted
4 Tbs dried cranberries
Fresh dill, chopped, to taste
Ingredients For The Vinaigrette:
1 Clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbs Tahini paste
1 Tsp Semi-strong mustard
1 Tsp Ras-El-Hanout
6 Tbs Olive oil
3 Tbs Lemon juice
1 Tbs Apple vinegar
Fine sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the Vinaigrette.
2. In a big salad bowl, put all the ingredients for the salad and add the vinaigrette.
3. Delicately combine.
4. Plate the salad and sprinkle with extra dill.

Choose a type of pumpkin that can be roasted (potimarron, butternut squash, blue Hokkaido, sugar pie, red kuri, tan cheese, etc...).
Both the farro and pumpkin can be used either warm or at room temperature.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as main course alone or accompanied with fish, meat, pan-fried tofu, seitan steaks or cheese and pair with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

Farro Salad
Salade De Petit Épautre À La Courge, Aux Canneberges Séchées Et Au Ras-El-Hanout
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Décembre 2013.

Pour 2 personnes.

Ingrédients Pour La Salade:

550g de Courge, rôtie au four (voir recette) et coupée en dés de 1cm
250g de Petit épautre (cru), cuit (voir recette)
1 Oignon (petit), haché finement
Le zeste d'un citron bio
3 CS de Graines de sésame, torréfiées
4 CS de Canneberges séchées
Aneth fraîche, hachée, selon goût
Ingrédients Pour La Vinaigrette:
1 Gousse d'ail, écrasée

2 CS de Tahini
1 CC de Moutarde mi-forte

1 CC de Ras -El- Hanout
6 CS d'Huile d'olive
3 CS de Jus de citron
1 CS de Vinaigre de pomme
Fleur de sel, selon goût
Poivre noir, fraîchement moulu, selon goût

Farro Salad
1 . Dans un bol moyen, mélanger ensemble tous les ingrédients pour la vinaigrette .
2 . Dans un grand saladier, mettre tous les ingrédients pour la salade et ajouter la vinaigrette.
3 . Mélanger
4 . Garnir les assiettes avec la salade et saupoudrer avec un peu d'aneth.

Choisissez une courge qui peut être rôtie (potimarron, butternut, courge musquée, etc...).
Le petit épeautre et la courge peuvent être utilisés légèrement chauds ou à température ambiante.

Suggestion d'accompagnement :
Servir comme plat principal seul ou accompagné de poisson, de viande, de tofu poêlé, de steaks de seitan ou de fromage. Ce plat se marie bien avec un Chardonnay, Pinot Noir , Riesling, Pinot Grigio ou Sauvignon Blanc.

Farro Salad


  1. This time I think that it looks much better in colour.

  2. beautiful pictures as always, Rosa and off course delicious recipes too ... - if you are Capricorn , mean your birthday is coming soon , am I correct ? :)

  3. I'm with Marta - although I liked the B&W image, I think the color one is stronger. Mainly because it's easier to see all the gorgeous ingredients you've got going in this dish! Really nice - thanks.

  4. Das koche ich gerne nach ! Liebe Grüsse

  5. Une salade parfaite pour moi, ainsi que des photos divines à admirer. Le bonheur!

  6. I feel the same way about winter! Gorgeous food, wish I had some this minute!


  7. What a hearty salad! The flavors are lovely together and it's perfect for winter.

  8. I love farro and the salad looks great..but it's on your words and your quotes that I lingered today..
    So well written and such perfect quotes..from my remembering the trees in Camus' quote..Lewis C..etc etc..
    You're a great writer Rosa..

  9. A festive and stunning winter salad.

  10. Such a hearty and comforting winter salad!

  11. A stunning and fabulous salad and I'm taking the recipe with me,a s I love it!!

  12. Delicious-looking meal.
    How exciting that your birthday draws near! :-)

  13. It looks delicious. Happy Christmas!

  14. yes....we were waiting for this recipe...this dish looks so stunning and beautiful...the colors make everything warm...and the ras-al-hanout spicy vinaigrette is an innovative and extremely scrumptious twist....gorgeous food and sensational food clicks as always,thanks so much for sharing :-)

  15. That is definitely a salad that will blow the cold wind away. It's very colorful and festive, so it will look good in any xmas table :)

    Merry Xmas Rosa, it's always such a great pleasure to visit this place of your's and I really like the part of you that is shared with us so I really want you to know that I wish you the very best :*

  16. Your photos are making me drool! What a marvelous salad, Rosa. I love using farro as an of my favorite dishes is made with farro and zucchini.
    Have a merry holiday, Rosa!

  17. Your photography, so unique and special! Just like this farro salad. I do love winter as well, however I miss those bright days when everything is crisp and clear. Gray shadows and dull light here in London :(

  18. Quelle superbe salade bien colorée!

  19. First-rate shots, Rosa. And the salad is so very golden and glowing. Love it!

  20. This salad would brighten up any winter day Rosa. I am not the person that loves winter having been born in the peak of summer but I can appreciate its beauty through the camera lens.

  21. Gorgeously delicious salad! :) ela

  22. Sounds and looks delicious. I don't mind the cold but winter is not my favorite season, mainly because my garden is asleep and I have to wait another 6 months to enjoy my favorite vegetables. What gets me going though is the thought that just as the winter starts, the days start getting longer, and that seems to kick some plants into high gear so I know spring is only few weeks away.

  23. Love the salad Rosa! In winter I eat less salad-but, thanks to you, I think this salad will be on the menu tonight!
    GORGEOUS photos as always

  24. Lovely food and post dear Rosa, have a nice and amazing Christmas times:))

  25. Umm Rosa, da veramente voglia, ottima ricetta :) splendide foto.

    gros bisous

  26. Looks really tasty :). And healthy :). Great recipe!

  27. A beautiful post, Rosa, and if I read it correctly happy birthday on the 25th! I was born on Boxing Day myself... Christmas babies. Wishing you a joyful Christmas and thank you for your friendship throughout the year.

  28. Rosa its summer here but that certainly wouldn't stop anyone making this delicious combination of salad. I love the ras-el-hanout in the dressing

  29. Gorgeous photos and I love the flavors in the salad. Looks delicious!

  30. This salad I definitely love to make. And I have farro in my pantry! This looks so superb!

  31. It's a beautiful winter dish! The mix of flavors sounds great, and pumpkin and cranberries look great together.

  32. Très gourmande ta salade ! Bises et bonnes fêtes de fin d'année :-)

  33. i'm liking the looks of this, rosa! healthy, beautiful, and delicious. merry christmas!

  34. I always have a bag of farro in the cupboard. One of my very favorite grains. I love cooking it like risotto. And yes, in salads, it's amazing for its texture.

  35. This is definitely my kind of salad, I love roasted pumpkin, we cook it very often. Looks so delicious and very healthy.

    Dear Rosa, happy holidays to you my dear, I am wishing you the best and many happy days in new year!



  36. That's a great way to start winter season, Rosa!
    The recipe looks delightful and the quotations are wonderful, love specially the one from Albert Camus- so beautiful!
    Merry Christmas to you!

  37. Totally my kinda salad Rosa ~ hearty yet healthy :) Beautiful clicks!

  38. Nice fall salad! I love the vinaigrette and I always enjoy using farro like this! Happy Holidays!

  39. That is such a well plated salad, not to mention just a great combination of ingredients. Want to just dig in.

  40. Oh Rosa, I didn't realize your birthday was tomorrow. Your spirit and heritage reflect the rebirth of Winter's soul. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and a Joyful Yuletide, Rosa...Your Farro Salad is just perfect:)

  41. C'est toujours aussi beau chez toi et la sauce à l'air sublime.
    Merci pour ce partage !

  42. I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones and of course, I love using the quote, “Winter is Coming!” often! Wow, a Helvetic, British and Russian blood? That’s an interesting mixture! What a beautiful salad, I love farro!

  43. (I am taking a deep breath before commenting... let's see how lucky I am today... :-)

    Love everything about this salad, and I intend to make it on the first week of the year - I am a bit jealous of your winter genes, I am miserable from November through March, seriously I am. Every cell in my body longs for heat and summer and sun... oh, well... Vive la difference!

  44. I've never used farro for salad before but this dish sounds absolutely fantastic. What a perfect refreshing dish for this holiday season. Thank you for sharing!

  45. Looks absolutely gorgeous and so fresh for winter!

  46. Comme toi, l'hiver me rend particulièrement heureuse. J'aime le froid, la nuit et tous les fruits et légumes d'hiver. Grace à ton post, je viens de lire la page wikipedia concernant Yuletide…je n'en avais jamais entendu parler. Merci pour tes merveilleux textes. Te lire est toujours un plaisir. Et ta recette est splendide. Passe un très bon Réveillon. A bientôt, biz. Sylvie

  47. It looks very festive indeed. Unfortunately farro was banned in Greece during the previous century and now those cultivating it sell it very expensive. Wishing you A Happy New Year.

  48. I haven't had farro in years. And if I could only reach in and grab a bite of your beautiful salad, I'd be pretty darn happy!

  49. Where do I start - I love everything about this post - the salad looks really delicious and I really really love roasted pumpkin! Your beautiful backdrop reminds me that I have to create new one this year.... yikes. :D

  50. I miss reading your recipe post Rosa, but this should satisfy my eyes as well as craving! wha a perfect timing when I saw this, as I am in no mood for meat dishes and this is something that I can have for supper everyday! Bring in more recipes dear..but having said that, the scenic photos are also breathtaking..

  51. Je passe ce matin te piquer cette recette de petite salade extrêmement élégante ... puis me mettre à la recherche de ce farro !