The Velveteen Rabbit

"He said. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.'"

Beet salad + nuts and herbs
adapted ever so slightly from The Guardian
serves 4

I ate this salad all January. It feels like a bite of summer in the middle of winter. It is crisp and fresh. A nice contrast to the roasting and braising of the season. Red beets were in my CSA, but a combo of golden and chiogga is SO pretty. 

3 medium beets, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 TBS sesame seeds
2 generous cups of fresh leafy herbs (any combo of cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, basil, arugula etc)

zest of 1 lemon
3 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350'. Roast nuts and seeds on a baking sheet for 6-10 minutes, until golden brown being mindful that they can burn quickly. Pick off herbs and tear any big leaves, but mostly you can leave them whole. Combine with beets and nuts into a large bowl. For dressing, add all ingredients to a glass jar and give them a good shake. Dress salad and serve immediately.