My daughter adores pink.
Not only is she enamoured of the colour; she is quite convinced that pink is for girls ONLY.
Whenever she tells us that, in her stern, unwavering 3-year-old's voice, my husband and I duly remind her that there is nothing saying boys can't also enjoy the beauty of pink, just as girls can sometimes be fond of blue, etc. etc.
While we try to be earnest and attentive when we have this conversation, and our aim overall is to discourage the division of likes and dislikes along gender lines, most of the time we're content as long as we manage not to encourage it.
And in fact, to be honest with you, often our efforts even in that department are a little half-assed.
Last night, I made the roasted beets you see above. I may have mentioned that my daughter is not inclined to try new foods, and that vegetables are particularly problematic; so I thought I had hit the jackpot when I realized that beets are - yes! - a pink food.
Her eyes widened slightly when I pointed this out.
"Mama," she said, "does that mean that beets are GIRL food? For girls ONLY?"
My answer came instantly and unflinchingly: "Yes, darling, they are."
Beets for Girls ONLY
The above photo was taken without the goat cheese topping, because frankly the dish looks a little better that way, but I'm sure you don't need me to tell you how much better it tastes after it's been slathered in goat cheese, butter and fresh herbs!
2 bunches beets, peeled and quartered (reserve beet greens for another use)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4c soft goat cheese
2 tbsp soft unsalted butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss beets and olive oil and place in a shallow oven-proof dish. Roast for about 20 minutes, until just barely tender.
While beets are roasting, mash together goat cheese, butter and salt until combined. Stir in tarragon.
Dollop goat cheese mixture over beets and continue to roast a further 10 minutes or so, until beets are quite tender and cheese it golden in parts.
Serves 3-4 as a side dish.