The holidays can be a time of decadence and no holds barred feasts. I still like to include an equal number (or at least one!) of lighter, yet still special, dishes to balance it all out. This usually means vegetable dishes, both cooked, like my Ottolenghi-imspired roasted eggplant from last year, and raw, in the form of visually arresting and palate enticing salads. This year, I took some colorful seasonal fruits to make a composed salad. Pomegranate arils (seeds) are like little rubies or Christmas lights, and will make any salad holiday-worthy. I wasn’t planning to post the recipe, but then Kara Rosenberg asked me for it. Kara is the recently retired principal of the Palo Alto Adult School who took a chance on me and was one of the first people who gave me the opportunity to start up my cooking classes, and is one of the people I am especially grateful to this holiday season. So cheers to you, Kara, and everyone else who has encouraged me and given me opportunities to share my love of beautiful, delicious, and great for you food. Happy holidays!
Jewel Box Christmas Salad
This is not really a recipe, but a guideline. Use more or less of each fruit as you desire, or make a colorful substitution. Apples and Asian pears are nice substitutions for the jicama, and I’ve toyed with the idea of making this Mexican-flavored by adding a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkling of cayenne.
2 Fuyu persimmons, cut into thin slices
1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 celery stalks, cut in thin diagonal slices
a few tablespoons of pomegranate arils
pinch of sea salt, optional freshly ground black pepper to taste
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Arrange fruits artfully on a platter, then sprinkle with seasonings and drizzle with olive oil.
Thank you for coming by! What are your favorite holiday salads? Please share in the comments.