I was invited by my friend Rosemarie from Turin Mamma to share #5factsaboutme a while back now; an invitation I have shied away from as I am generally a private person. Let’s face it, this blog was never meant to be read by anyone else but my immediate family, with the hope of documenting and preserving some of our family recipes and related stories. I never thought in my wildest dreams that you would be reading this blog today; but fact No. 1 listed below challenged me so. This post will therefore list 5 random facts you don’t know about me and a simple autumnal salad recipe which can easily be thrown together, even though fact No. 5 got the better of me and influence how I would plate it up.
5 Facts You Don’t Know About Me
Fact 1: Glass half full; look on the bright side of life; believing in good karma – these notions have been my guiding light when it comes to others, but my shyness and self doubt often gets in the way hence I'm very critical of me, always looking at how I can improve and challenge myself.
Fact 2: I’ve been given a second chance in life and very grateful. When I was 2 years of age I had a near drowning experience in my birth town Domodossola - Italy, and was miraculously saved by mamma. I even made the front page of the local newspaper but don’t have any recollections or a copy of that story. This experience is my constant reminder to cherish every moment and not take anything for granted.
Fact 3: Even though my family think of me as more of a home body, I have been known to be a bit of a wanderlust at times. As a Piscean, I have a great sense of adventure, a need to occasionally escape, wander and explore, hence my love for travel and research. I have been fortunate to travel a fair bit through work and now want to travel more with my family.
Fact 4: I am generally a quiet achiever, but sometimes its important to toot your own horn. I have a design, fashion and textile background and a career in industry and teaching spanning over 25 years that has allowed me to grow and give back to my community (you can find me on Linkedin). My greatest achievement though and most rewarding has been raising my beautiful family with the help of a loving husband and father whom I adore.
Fact 5: I have a creative streak but have always struggled with colour so I’ve been challenging myself to explore hues in what I capture. It has been through food photography and observing the changing light that comes with the time of day and the seasons that I am slowly gaining confidence and expressing colour through my artwork. Amongst my photographs of food posted, you may have seen some artwork that I have quietly thrown in; there are plans to expand this further.
You now know a little bit more about me and #5factsaboutme comes with passing it forward so I will discreetly tag a few people to share five facts about themselves via Instagram and let them decide if they wish to share. In the meantime here is the salad that I have been enjoying so much.
Persimmon, Fennel & Pomegranate Salad
With a persimmon tree in my parents garden laden with fruit, what better way to initiate the autumn season than by using some in a salad with fennel and pomegranate seeds. I have previously baked a persimmon & walnut cake and made persimmon & orange ice-cream, so thought it was time to add this fruit to a salad. Considering I love salads so much and none listed in my recipe index there will be a few scheduled for this month and beyond.
This salad showcases autumns freshest ingredients that when combined generate a private party of flavours in your mouth. You can also add radicchio or arugula for added flavour and colour, and choice of nuts.
2 Asian persimmons (such as Fuyu – hard / non astringent type)
1 large fennel bulb
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl until emulsified and set aside.
Trim any fennel stalks reserving some of the leafy fronds on the stalks to garnish the salad. Rinse the bulb and pat dry. Cut out and discard the core of the fennel bulb, then cut the bulb lengthwise into thin strips to yield about 2 cups.
Cut one persimmon in half and slice thinly with skin on. Set aside to use as garnish around the plate. Peel the remaining half and the second persimmon and cut into thin wedges.
Add persimmon pieces, fennel strips and chopped walnuts to the bowl and toss to coat evenly with the dressing. Arrange the sliced persimmons around a plate and place the salad in the centre. Garnish with fennel fronds and pomegranate seeds.