If you are a person of normal humility levels, I would argue that there is no greater way to be humbled than to go to business school. Or anywhere, really, where you’re surrounded with really smart people every day. But add pretty strong social skills, really intense motivation and a huge collection of accomplishments on top of that really smart population surrounding you daily, and it’s a pretty good recipe for a pummeling to the self-esteem.
The other day, after a particularly grueling day fueled by little sleep and yet another day of failing to participate in class (my own personal struggle), I went home, had a quiet little mini crisis, and then watched a string of Ted Talks all in a row. I happen to think Ted Talks are some of the greatest things around—the best of the wisdom from REALLY smart people, FREE. Even the ones verging on cheesy never fail to inspire me or at least lift me out of the dumps, so I wanted to share some favorites from the ones I watched:
- A phenomenal vision on leadership (and a great story)
- On treating self-confidence like a skill (something we should all practice)
- “It’s an insult to be average.” Something important to note about self-compassion vs. self-esteem
- How to find your passion and inner awesomeness and conversely, why you shouldn’t just follow your passion
Now that your self-esteem is sufficiently boosted (I hope), about this feta: it’s inspired (aka ripped off from) Ottolenghi’s marinated buffalo mozzarella and tomato in Plenty. Except that it uses leftover almond feta from this recipe—so it’s crumblier than mozzarella, but just as delicious. It’s zingy with lemon, herby and fresh with basil with surprising highlights of oregano and fennel, which I happened to have on hand (but you can omit, if needed). If you can find any super-late last summer tomatoes, they are amazing on toast with this feta! Or with my new favorite crackers. Or it could be amazing on pizza with some roasted winter squash, caramelized onions and the like…
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- grated zest of 1 small lemon
- ¼ cup packed basil leaves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste if needed
- black pepper
- about 1/2 recipe almond feta
Toast the fennel seeds in a small pan over medium heat until they begin to pop and brown. Transfer to a mortar and pestle (alternatively: you can use a plastic bag and a rolling pin or heavy object) and crush roughly. Stir together the crushed seeds and rest of the marinade in a bowl.
Place the almond feta in another bowl and drizzle the marinade on top. Let sit for 10-30 minutes before eating.
Adapted from Ottolenghi's marinated buffalo mozzarella and tomato.