I’ve written before, on this blog, about my penchant for salads of the fruit, cheese, and nut variety. Mixing the sweet and the salty, the crunchy and the creamy, the light and the rich, how much better does it get? I’ve had many a salad with craisins, apples, pears, even strawberries. But persimmons in a salad? Now that was something new…
Realizing that the persimmon season is coming to a close here in California (and frankly may not even exist in the rest of the country- I’d never had one until I moved out west), I’ve been stocking up on the little orange Fuyus at the farmers’ market. They’re insanely cheap (usually $1.50/lb), travel well, have a long counter life, and are just a bit more interesting than the apple or banana I might otherwise snack on. All of which goes to say, there’s a serious overload of persimmons in the house, more than even one persimmon-lovin’ gal like me can hope to eat.
Epicurious to the rescue! This recipe from the November 2004 issue of Bon Appetit was simply delicious. The persimmon, feta, and hazelnuts were an unexpected combination- wintry in feel, but bright in taste and texture. Topped with a simple vinaigrette, this salad was a smashing new addition to my fruit/cheese/nut salad repertoire. More interesting than your standard ho-hum side salad, serve this at any dinner party and you’ll have your guests talking about your creative palate. Or, do as we did and horde every last scrumptious bite to yourself. You can always share it next time around.
Butter lettuce, persimmon, feta, and hazelnut salad (serves 4)
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large head of butter lettuce or Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 medium-size firm but ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, halved, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1. Combine vinegar, shallot, and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.2. Place lettuce in large bowl; toss with dressing. Gently toss in persimmons, cheese, and nuts. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.