Back to our seasonal focus, I am sharing a recipe from Tori Ritchie – a San Francisco food writer, author and cooking instructor with many TV shows under her belt. Tori offers a weekly post called “Tuesday Recipe,” where this festive salad comes from.
There are two types of persimmons. The first is hachiya – which is pointed at the bottom and cannot be eaten raw. You will see them hanging from trees which are otherwise barren for weeks, and can be found at their peak this time of year. Hachiyas are usually cooked until mushy and used in steamed puddings, making a delicious holiday dessert.
The other persimmon found in America is the fuyu. These are a bit smaller, round and almost squatty. They are non-astringent and can be eaten as a crunchy snack when plucked right from the tree. Fuyus are also great sliced and added to oatmeal, or in salads as noted below.
Persimmons have excellent stores of carotene – one persimmon gives you 50% of your daily requirement of vitamin A and 25 % of vitamin C. They are also high in iron and said to ease digestive issues – particularly nice this time of year.
Fall Salad with Fuyus
– Serves 6
1 head escarole
2 fuyu persimmons
1 bunch chives
3 ounces Roquefort or blue cheese
3 ounces walnut halves
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Pinch sea salt
1/4 cup good olive oil
freshly ground pepper
Slice the core end off the escarole, then rinse the leaves and spin dry. Working in batches, stack the leaves and slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide shreds. Put the escarole in a big salad bowl. Cut the persimmons in half and with a paring knife, cut off the skin and stems. Slice persimmons about 1/4-inch thick and add to bowl. Thinly slice the chives and add them to bowl. Crumble in the cheese then add the walnuts.
Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking the mustard, vinegar, and salt together in a small bowl with a fork. Whisk in the oil. Pour over salad, toss well, then season with pepper. Serve right away.