If you’re wondering what to do with persimmons because your tree is overflowing, try this sweet persimmon salad recipe topped with candied hazelnuts, coconut chips and dressing with a pomegranate molasses dressing.
- Why You’ll Love this Persimmon Salad
- What Is a Persimmon?
- When Is the Persimmon Season?
- What Are The 2 Main Types of Persimmons?
- What Does a Persimmon Taste Like?
- What Are Some Persimmon Benefits?
- Recipe Overview
- How to Make Candied Hazelnuts
- How to Prepare the Persimmon and Apples
- How to Make the Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
- How to Assemble the Salad
- Variations and Substitutions
- Great Mains for This Salad
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love this Persimmon Salad
Salads with persimmons are one of the best ways to enjoy the persimmon season, especially if you have a tree in your backyard and are running out of ideas of what to do with persimmons.
Let’s really sweeten them up by making candied hazelnuts and sprinkling them through the salad. It just gives the salad a bit of fun.
You’ll love this salad because it’s unique and not a run of the mill side salad. Crunchy, sweet, tart and savoury all at once, it’s a fantastic salad to serve during Thanksgiving or Christmas.
What Is a Persimmon?
Persimmon is an edible fruit that ranges from yellow to deep orange in colour, the size of a beefsteak tomato or big Roma tomato and has taut and shiny skin.
The top of a persimmon consists of a calyx which resembles a flower. Their shape varies across the varieties, with the most common the shape of tomato or an acorn.
They are native to China but also found in Japan and Korea while they spread their wings to North America around the 19th century.
Persimmon trees are often found in American backyards and are an extremely popular fruit. Related to the date plum, these are variants of the species Diospyros kaki.
If you have an abundance of persimmons, you can also try our Vegan Persimmon Salad with Beetroot Dressing.
When Is the Persimmon Season?
The persimmon is an autumn/winter fruit that is generally available for about 3-4 months. In the Northern hemisphere, you’ll be able to get your first persimmon of the season from October until about January. This is perfect timing for Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes!
In the Southern Hemisphere, the persimmon season is from about March to June. Lucky for us, Phenie’s in-laws have a fruitful persimmon tree, and every year we’re graced with a generous bag of organically grown fruit. So I naturally had to take full advantage of it and create a salad for the season.
What Are The 2 Main Types of Persimmons?
There are 2 main types of persimmons that are consumed regularly. These 2 types of persimmons are known as Asian persimmons.
The first type of persimmon is called the fuyu persimmon and perhaps the more common of the two. The fuyu persimmon looks like a beefsteak tomato as it’s round and squat. It is hard and crunchy when less ripe, while it can become very soft once it ripens.
I grew up on the fuyu persimmon, and over the years, I have come to realise that there are 2 kinds of fuyu persimmon eaters. Either you like it hard and crunchy, or you wait until it’s really ripe and becomes soft and super sweet.
I’m of the crunchy variety and, in fact, think it’s gross when it’s soft and starts to take on a jelly-like consistency. It is by no means off, just ripe.
The second type of persimmon is the hachiya persimmon. This fruit has the shape of an acorn. In the USA, they are grown in Hawaii and are the common variety eaten in California.
What Does a Persimmon Taste Like?
While the 2 different types of persimmons seem quite similar, they are different in taste. The fuyu persimmon is non-astringent, while the hachiya persimmon is of the astringent variety.
As mentioned above, the fuyu persimmon can be eaten hard or soft, while the hachiya persimmon can’t be eaten when it’s not fully ripe. Well, you can, but its astringency makes it hard to eat. It is high in tannins, and it would be like eating an unripe banana. You can cut it in half when it is ripe and use a spoon to scoop out the soft flesh.
Persimmons are sweet, and it has quite a unique flavour and is sort of an odd cross between a date, apricot and even a tomato with honey-like undertones, especially the riper it gets.
What Are Some Persimmon Benefits?
Persimmons have been around for thousands of years, and apart from tasting so incredibly delicious, it has some great health benefits to boost.
Some of the persimmon benefits include:
- A good source of thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), folate, magnesium and phosphorus.
- High in soluble fibre and low in calories.
- The beta carotene content is believed to help control the growth and spread of cancer cells.
- Good source of Vitamin A, which is great for immune function, eye health and fetal development.
- Persimmons are antioxidant-rich, which is excellent for reducing age related illnesses such as osteoporosis.
- Helps to reduce inflammation.
- Good for heart related diseases as it contains folate and Vitamin C.
- Promotes brain health due to a natural compound called fisetin.
- The potassium in persimmons reduces blood pressure.
Apart from the health benefits of persimmon fruit, persimmon leaves benefits are also important in some Asian cultures. Leaves from the persimmon trees are used to make persimmon leaf tea, and it is said to have high levels of Vitamin C, tannins, flavonoids, rutin, choline and essential amino acid.
Flavour/Texture: This persimmon salad recipe is full of crunch. Crunch from the apple, the candied hazelnuts, coconut chips and the persimmon itself. This recipe is also sweet from both the natural fructose of the fruits and the candied hazelnut.
The pomegranate molasses dressing provides the tartness this persimmon recipe needs to balance out the flavours, while the mixed green leaves provide the savoury component.
If you wish to add a peppery, anise-like flavour, use arugula leaves or have more arugula in the mixed greens.
Ease: the only real tricky part of this persimmon recipe is the candied hazelnuts. Getting the skin off the hazelnuts requires a bit of fiddling around, and you want to get the skin off as it is bitter. Other than that, the rest of the ingredients are eaten as they are and easy to prepare.
Time: The candied hazelnuts take up most of the time, but I feel that this persimmon recipe wouldn’t be the same without it, so we’re going to make the time well spent.
Lots of sugar or brown sugar is required to make the lovely caramel flavours. However, prep and assembly for the rest of the persimmon salad recipe are quick.
Here are the ingredients you will need for this Persimmon Salad:
Hazelnuts: I love roasted hazelnuts, and it’s the one nut that doesn’t get a lot of attention. If you can buy hazelnuts without their skin, it would save you a lot of time.
Sugar: For these roasted hazelnuts, they are candied in granulated white sugar. You can use brown sugar if you like that extra caramel flavour.
Persimmons: Please use fuyu persimmons for this recipe. The level of firmness is entirely up to you. I wouldn’t get them too soft, however, so that they can retain their shape when tossed.
Apple: A nice crunchy apple of your choosing.
Mixed salad leaves: Any mixed greens will work for this persimmon recipe. If you want to tone down the sweetness, you can add some arugula or even use only arugula. The peppery nature of the arugula will really help.
Coconut chips: Such a versatile ingredient, and you don’t even have to toast it. You can if you like, but it’s not necessary for this persimmon recipe.
Salt and pepper: To taste
Olive oil: Use good olive oil for the dressing.
Pomegranate molasses: Persimmon and pomegranates pair really well together, but instead of using actual pomegranate arils, the flavours are best represented in this salad dressing by using my all-time favourite, pomegranate molasses.
Balsamic vinegar: To add to the tartness of the dressing to offset the sweetness of the salad.
Step by step instructions for making this Persimmon Salad:
How to Make Candied Hazelnuts
Candied nuts are so moreish. Once I start, I have to have great willpower to stop. And for this recipe, I couldn’t go past some candied hazelnuts to accompany the persimmon.
The first thing we want to do is remove the hazelnut’s skin as it’s bitter, and it’s not a flavour I was after for this persimmon salad. So essentially, we will use the boil and rub method whereby you place the hazelnuts in a pot of boiling water for about 15 minutes.
Drain the hazelnuts and place them in a towel and rub off the skin. Sometimes I use my hands and it’s good enough. Occasionally the really stubborn ones need to be peeled with your fingers.
Once the skin is off, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and put it into the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C or 350°F. We want them nice and roasted before caramelising them.
In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix 4 tbsp of sugar with 1 tbsp of water. When the hazelnut is roasted, place them in the sugar and water mixture and coat them well.
Return them to the baking tray and back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until caramelised to your liking.
By the way, if you have extra, try them with some ice cream. Delicious!
How to Prepare the Persimmon and Apples
Whilst all that is going on, peel the persimmon. Cut them in half and then cut them into thin wedges.
Cut the apple into thin slices. Put them in salted water to stop them from browning. Wash them when you’re ready to serve to get rid of the saltiness but make sure they are dry. We don’t want a soggy salad!
How to Make the Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses until well combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients together, pour in the dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss.
Variations and Substitutions
Hazelnut alternative: You can pretty much candy any nut of your choosing. Consume the nut element raw to make this a low lectin salad recipe.
Nut free option: You can eliminate the hazelnuts and substitute with dried fruit such as cranberries, apricots or blueberries, or crunchy seeds such as pepitas or sunflower seeds.
Toasting the coconut chips: You can toast the coconut chips if you’re after extra texture, although the persimmon and apple provide enough of a crunch element.
Pomegranate molasses substitute: If you don’t have pomegranate molasses handy, you can use balsamic glaze for the salad dressing recipe.
Additions: Persimmons pair well with numerous ingredients but none as popular as goat cheese. You can sprinkle some on top if you want to add a creamy element.
Great Mains for This Salad
What to serve with this Persimmon Salad? Try these delicious recipes:
Roasted apple cider spatchcock: Covered in warm fall spices, this chicken is spatchcocked for a quicker, more even roasting and is finished with a delicious cider gravy. Serve it up with this delicious persimmon salad for the perfect fall meal.
Duck breast with orange sauce: This is probably the best duck recipe you will find! With the most delicious tart & sweet orange sauce recipe, this is a dish you will be making over and over again. Complement this duck a l’orange recipe with an equally delicious persimmon salad for lovely fall colours and flavours.
Braised lamb shanks: These melt in the mouth braised Lamb Shanks with Balsamic Vinegar are the perfect dish if you’re looking for comfort food. So simple to make yet so delicious, the best thing about this slow cooked recipe is that the oven does all the hard work. And while that’s cooking away, prepare this persimmon salad to serve on the side
Frequently Asked Questions
Persimmons are a favourite fruit of many countries around the world. Here are some of the different ways persimmons are called in different nations:
* Persimmon In Hindi – Khurama (ख़ुरमा)
* Persimmon In Japanese and French – Kaki (柿)
* Persimmon In Korean – Gam (감)
* Persimmon In Mandarin – Shizi (柿子)
* Persimmon In Spanish and Portuguese – Caqui
Yes, you can eat persimmon skin. They are thin and the level of softness is determined by how ripe the persimmon is. Most people, however, opt to peel persimmons for salads or for eating on their own.
Regardless of which persimmon you intend to get, always look for persimmons with bright, shiny skin that is taut and is not wrinkly. Also, look for blemishes or wanted cracks as those are the ones to avoid.
How firm a persimmon is can be felt by touch and a gentle squeeze. Overly ripe persimmons are very soft to touch, so don’t squeeze too hard.
Remove the calyx on the top of the persimmon and then peel. As fuyu persimmons are usually seedless, you can cut them into wedges or cut them crossways into large round discs. They are very pretty cut crossways as you can see the central star shape, which is excellent for salads.
If persimmons are not a fruit you’ve come across or are completely accustomed to, I implore you to seek them out during the fall or autumn season and give it a try. This persimmon salad will make a great addition to the Thanksgiving and Christmas table.
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Persimmon Salad with Candied Hazelnuts
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- Add hazelnuts into a small saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain. Use a towel to rub off the skin or rub/peel them with your hands. Placed the peeled hazelnuts onto a sheet pan lined with baking paper and roast in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.
- Remove hazelnuts and add to a mixture of 4 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of water. Pour mixture back onto the sheet pan and roast for a further 20 minutes until caramelised.
- Peel the persimmon. Cut it in half and then cut into thin wedges. Set aside.
- Cut the apple into thin slices. Place in salted water to stop the apple from browning. When ready to serve, wash the apples to remove the saltiness and dry on a paper towel.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses until well combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the persimmons, mixed salad leaves, apple, coconut flakes and candied hazelnuts.
- Pour in dressing and season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the salad until evenly coated.
- Serve immediately.
- If you’re not a hazelnut fan, you can pretty much candy any nut of your choosing.
- Consume the nut element raw to make this a low lectin salad recipe.
- For a nut free recipe, you can eliminate the hazelnuts and substitute with dried fruit such as cranberries, apricots or blueberries, or crunchy seeds such as pepitas or sunflower seeds.
- You can toast the coconut chips if you’re after extra texture, although the persimmon and apple provide enough of a crunch element.
- If you don’t have pomegranate molasses handy, you can use balsamic glaze for the salad dressing recipe.
- Persimmons pair well with numerous ingredients but none as popular as goat cheese. You can sprinkle some on top if you want to add a creamy element.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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