Alice in Hungerland

31 Oct 2008

Slow Food international vice-president Alice Waters is famous for the seasonal, locally produced, organic food she has been making and serving at her restaurant, Chez Panisse, in California since 1971. Her latest book The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution, a collection of her recipes, has just been published by Michael Joseph in the UK. The message of the book is that tasty recipes don’t need to be complex.

‘What makes a good meal is not how fancy it is or how complicated the preparations are, but how satisfying it is,’ writes Waters in the introduction to the book. ‘I’m satisfied when a meal balances flavour, colour and texture, when I’ve enjoyed cooking it, and when it is presented with care.’

Here is one of Alice’s more innovative creations.

Persimmon and pomegranate salad
Serves 4
3 ripe medium persimmons
½ pomegranate
1 tbsp sherry or red wine
Vinegar
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Cut the tops from the persimmons and peel them. Slice them thinly or cut into small wedges, removing any seeds you find and arrange on a plate.
Hold the pomegranate, cut side down, over a bowl and pound on the back of the fruit with a large spoon to dislodge the seeds. Pick out and discard any white pith that may have fallen out with the seeds. Sprinkle the seeds over the persimmon wedges.

For a simple vinaigrette, mix together the vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to dissolve the salt and then whisk in the olive oil. Taste and correct the salt and acid as needed. Spoon the vinaigrette over the fruit and serve.

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