I know it’s a bit late but happy new year!
I have to say, I’m pretty excited for it. After four and a half years of university, I’m officially finished my undergraduate degree in English Lit and History.
It feels strange to be done and, honestly, a bit anti-climatic given I finished in the middle of the year. But it’s pretty exciting to have a degree under my belt and I’m already applying for my next round of schooling, a masters degree that I hope to work towards at university in Europe next year.
For now though, I am enjoying the calmness that January brings after the Christmas decorations have been wrapped up, the New Years resolutions have been humbly modified for more realistic expectations and the last of the holiday family gatherings have commenced.
I’ve been particularly self-indulgent the last few weeks, with only my coaching jobs interfering with my intense routine of:
– watching the entire 10 seasons of Friends on Netflix
– baking entirely too many recipes from The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel, the creator of the Cronut
– reading amazing literature such as All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer which is set in Saint-Malo, France during World War II and depicts the lives of two very different characters; a young German solider and an intelligent blind girl. (If you are looking for your next vacation spot, Saint-Malo is a gorgeous town a short bus ride away from the famous Mont St Michel and it is well worth the visit!)
– and eating copious amounts of this tomato persimmon bocconcini salad
This salad is my autumnal take on the summer favorite, with warm spices and toasted pistachios to compliment the popular fall fruit, the persimmon. If you’ve never tasted one before, they are a firm, mildly sweet fruit with the consistency of a slightly unripe peach or nectarine. Paired with the creamy cheese and tomatoes, they produce a simple and delicious salad that can be beautifully served family-style on a platter or stacked for individual portions. The dukkah can be made with any nuts and a combination of spices but this is my favorite iteration.
- 3 persimmons
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 large ball of mozzarella (approximately 8 ounces)
- small handful of fresh basil, chopped
- ⅓ cup pistachios
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup good quality olive oil
- ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons date or pomegranate molasses (honey is a fine substitute too)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Slice the persimmons, tomatoes and mozzarella into half inch rounds and arrange with the chopped basil on a platter for a family-style meal or stack them for individual service.
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add the pistachios. Dry roast them for five minutes before adding the sesame seeds, coriander and cumin. Heat until slightly toasted and fragrant and remove from heat. Grind the mixture together in a mortar with pestle or in a food processor. Add the salt and pepper.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl or container and pour over the assembled produce. Evenly distribute the pistachio dukkah over top and serve.