When she has the kitchen all to herself, Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella cooks beautiful iterations of what solo meals were always meant to be: exactly what you want, when and where you want them.
Today: When it all gets to be too much, sit down, pour some wine, and indulge in this bright, sweet salad.
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There may be Halloween candy left in the cupboard, but the small creatures in my house have skipped Thanksgivukkah altogether and crash-landed straight into Christmas in the form of Kelly Clarkson’s holiday album, candy cane everything (hand soap, Oreos, tea), and “Santa Paws” one through three.
But I have some armor. A buffer. A transition. A pause.
My persimmon salad.
Here’s all you need to do for some salvation from all things holiday.
Thinly slice a firm fuyu persimmon (I use a mandoline but a serrated knife works quite well). Layer the slices on your favorite plate. Splash with lemon juice and olive oil. Add crunchy salt. With a paring knife or peeler, float down paper-thin whisps of firm and salty cheese (Parmesan, Piave, Bianco Sardo, Manchego, or Asiago). Halve a pomegranate. With the cut-side of one half facing the salad, smack a wooden spoon on the exterior, raining down the arils and some juice. (Or do this.) Remove any errant pieces of white membrane. Sprinkle with crushed Marcona almonds and parsley leaves.
Grill some bread. Pour yourself a glass of white wine. Sit down with your salad.
Take a deep breath. Think about one thing you can let go of during this crazy-ass holiday season. Pick up a piece of bread. Scoop up some salad. Eat. Sip your wine. Repeat.
More: Need even more of a break? This persimmon treat is calling your name.
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.