Updated: Jan 16
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A few years ago, what a surprise it was to see a persimmon tree being locally grown. The South Carolina climate is perfect for growing these fruit trees. When I saw it my heart started beating faster. I love persimmons. I think it's hard to find someone from Ukraine who doesn't like this gorgeous fruit. Back in 2009 the farmers market in Kiev offered so many kinds. I would take a stroll along the farmer's market road and sample each vendor's permissions. By the time I reached the end of the road, I felt like I couldn't eat anymore! LOL!
Persimmons are a fantastic fruit that's only in season a few months of the year. They have a honey-like flavor and are usually mild. They're often juicy with a variety of textures from being soft like a very ripe peach or crispy like an apple.
Salad is a dish that you can eat all year round, right?
The perfect way to eat your salads is by making them with seasonal foods.
Persimmons are most common in the late fall and winter. They are delicious on their own, but even better when they are mixed with other ingredients and can easily be combined with other foods to create a fabulous seasonal salad. Think about what grows together! This tasty salad recipe, which I am sharing with you today, has simple fresh ingredients and can be modified to your liking. Give it a try soon!
Fuyu and Hachiya are the main types of persimmons and are the ones most commonly found in grocery stores across the country. Unless you are lucky enough to have persimmon trees in your backyard, like my friend does in NC, you'll likely need to get them from a farmer's market or specialty grocery store. I feel like this beautiful fruit is very unappreciated in the US, mostly because it's not a year-round fruit, making it difficult to feed your little ones. My children eat a large variety of different kinds of produce from turnips to kumquats and anything in between. Using and eating seasonal produce locally grown should be a priority to all moms.
Please, read my recent new post, which details the importance of creating healthy habits beginning with making just one positive change and elaborating from where food is derived.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PERSIMMONS?
Research conducted by the University of Lisbon Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences on persimmon fruit found that the extracts of this fruit have anti-inflammatory effects. Due to this effect, it helps in relieving problems of joint pain.
According to experts, persimmons are rich in several acids, such as: phenolic acids, catechins, amino acids as well as phenolic and flavonoid elements that are excellent antioxidants, which can reduce the effects of free radical damage. It also reduces the effects of toxins and protects the cells from damage, along with detoxifying the body helping to keep the liver healthy.
This fruit is very rich in many nutrients including an abundance of fiber, which is considered beneficial in controlling weight and improving digestion. It has been found to also reduce stomach-related problems like constipation, another indication that it is a good source of fiber.
WHAT DO I LIKE ABOUT THIS SALAD?
Looks beautiful and very festive.
It's healthy and this ingredient plays an important role in a salad.
Can create a harmonious flavorful salad to be served for a special dinner party.
Serve for lunch or for a light dinner eating as it is or with any protein you wish.
Quick and easy to make.
You can substitute some ingredients to your liking.
No special equipment needed.
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS SALAD?
Persimmons - Fuyu, I recommend this kind because it is lower in tannins, which makes this fruit able to be consumed even when it is under ripe. Also, it has a perfect crisp texture and can be used as an apple, and provides a sweet, pleasant flavor to the salad. The other kinds have to be consumed only very ripe, and the consistency of very soft and mushy so it isn't the best option here. However, this type is great for making sorbets, eating as it is, in baked goods, jams, smoothies, etc.
Greens - choose any kind you like, but something that is a little bitter will benefit this salad. It will provide a nice contrast to the salad while balancing the flavors. Here are some choices: mustard greens, radicchio, baby kale, escarole, chicory, etc. Micro greens are also super tasty and an excellent healthy choice. Balance is always a key for a good salad even using a simple spring mix will work.
Cheese - if you are a cheese lover like me, go for a strong good quality cheese, such as blue cheese, but a soft sheep or goat cheese would be more mild but still very good. Feta is always a good option too.
Red onion - flavor and color, are what onions offer to this salad. Make sure to slice them thin, very thin.
Toppings - something that can give you contrast of texture, maybe nuts, seeds, or pomegranates are perfect additions.
FEW WORDS ON THE DRESSING
I think everyone appreciates homemade dressing. It not only tastes better, but it is better for you. Every salad that I have posted so far is uniquely created with a specific dressing that suits those perfect salads. I believe dressing should be delish and good for you.
Think about it: why would you make an organic produce-based salad only to coat it with corn syrup and soybean oil, which creates inflammation in your body and dismisses all your efforts of eating whole organic foods? Creating a healthy delicious dressing is just as important as your selection of whole organic produce being used in the salad.
In this specific winter salad, each ingredient spotlights local winter flavors and follows the rule "What grows together goes together". In SC it's not only persimmon, pomegranate, citruses, and kale season, but also dill. Yes, I love dill, in the summer it is so difficult to grow dill, because it's simply too hot, but now it is growing beautifully. Citrus-dill vinaigrette will give you the most beautiful flavor to compliment this salad. I promise you will like it, even my husband, who is not a big lover of dill, loves it!
More Salad Recipes to Try
Let's make it...
Prep time: 5 minutes
Make time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Servings: 2-4 salads
Ingredients for the salad
2 persimmons (Fuyu is the kind you should use)
6 cups of spring mix or other greens
1/4 red onion
1/4 cup of sliced almonds (roasted)
1/2 cup of feta cheese (goat cheese or any soft cheese)
Ingredients for the dressing
one orange (juice only)
one lemon (juice only)
4-5 sprigs of dill
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
To make the dressing, first add to the blender a cup of dill, and the squeezed juice from the orange and lemon. Then add the rest of the ingredients.
Pulse a few times, give it a taste and adjust the flavor according to your liking. Pour into a salad dressing bottle to use for serving.
Slice the persimmons with a mandolin slicer using its blade for thin slices. Next, slice the onions and add both to the mixing bowl. Add pomegranate seeds. Pour dressing over the veggies and toss together.
To complete the salad, arrange the greens as the bedding on your serving platter, top with the persimmons, pomegranate and onions. Crumble the cheese on top of the salad and sprinkle it with almonds.
Drizzle with more dressing. The leftover dressing will keep in your fridge for up to two weeks.
Enjoy right away!