Having fallen in love with persimmons years ago, I pulled a recipe for “Persimmon Salad” from a weekend section of the Wall Street Journal back in 1912. I kept it in my Persimmons folder throughout the work on my latest cookbook, “Fruit: A Savor the South Cookbook” Though this recipe did not make it into the book, it’s made it into our family menus because it is super simple and extra tasty, healthful “green” food of astonishing tastiness and signifigant speed.
You need three fuyu persimmons — the most widely available ones in supermarkets which are brilliant enough to carry persimmons. These are the plump, squat ones which look like tomatoes on ly orange, and which do NOT soften up and show their ripeness by changing to a soft texture, the way tomatoes and peaches do.
Core each fruit, slice off the base, and peel with a peeler or a paring knife. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and set it aside in a bowl. Cut each peeled and cored persimmon lengthwise, and then slice each half into bite sized pieces, not too thick and not too thin. Place these persimmon pieces in the bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Add the olive oil and salt and toss again — then let stand a bit.
The recipe says to serve each salad plated handsomely, which works wonderfully. For more casual entertaning and family suppers, we like to add the arugula to the bowl of lemony persimmons, season with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss gently. At serving time, we toss again, add the parm shavings, and serve in bowls or on plates.
Arugula is sensational here, with its firecracker flavor and sturdy beauty, but you may want to switch it out for another salad green such as baby spinach, oak leaf lettuce, etc.
If you’re thinking, hmmmmm this could work nicely with apricots, peaches, mangoes, etc., you are just like me. Great minds, thinking alike! Enjoy and be sure to make friends with persimmons because their time of year is a big sweet robust vitamin packed gift to one and all!
- 3 fuyu persimmons
- Juice of one lemon
- Fine sea salt, or kosher salt, or any ole' salt!
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
- 4 cups baby arugula, or another tender salad green or lettuce
- Parmesean shavings
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare persimmons:
- Trim tops and ends, cutting out the stem portions and slicing off the base.
- Using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, remove the skin.
- Halve lengthwise, and then place each half cut side down.
- Slice each half crosswise, about 1/16 inch thick. (Or slice each half lengthwise into thin wedges)
- Place fruit in a bowl and toss with juice of 1 lemon, pinch or two of salt, and olive oil, about 1 tablespoon to start.
- Let sit until fruit releases juices and salt dissolves, about 5 minutes.
- Adjust seasonings, adding extral salt or lemon juice to taste.
- To serve:
- Divide greens among 4 serving plates.
- Scatter a generous handful of persimonns over each plate of greens.
- Spoon over a generous serving of the persimmon juices/dressing in the big bowl.
- Garnish each serving with parmesean shavings, and finsh with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve at once! and enjoy...
To make parmesean shavings, use a vegetable peeler, pulling it firmly but gently along the surface of a good chunk of parmesean cheese. (Parmigiano reggiano is ideal). Set the flat thin "chips" aside on a plate until ready to add them to the salad.