As cooler months roll around, the persimmon tree bears fruit. This salad with persimmons is the perfect way to take advantage of its short season. Pair it with an earthy and tangy beetroot dressing for a delicious fall side dish.
- Why You’ll Love This Salad
- Difference Between Fuyu And Hachiya Persimmons?
- What Is Diospyros Kaki?
- What To Do with Persimmon?
- How To Eat Persimmon?
- Recipe Overview
- How to Make the Beetroot Dressing
- How to Assemble the Salad
- Variations and Substitutions
- Great Mains for This Salad
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love This Salad
I can always tell that fall has come around because Phen distributes persimmons to Sammy and I. Their family tree simply bears too much fruit, and she has to give them away before they go to waste.
So, of course, the time comes when we get creative and start to make some new salads. This salad with persimmons is no exception, and we’re always excited to get a whole bag full. The persimmons were perfectly round, so sweet and crunchy. Love cutting into them and you can hear that snap.
For this recipe, I decided to pair it with a beetroot vinaigrette to give it a pop of colour, earthiness and tang from the sticky pomegranate molasses. It is easy to make with minimal cooking required, so it’s quick to whip up any time of the week.
Difference Between Fuyu And Hachiya Persimmons?
If it weren’t for the stem and leaves on the crown of both the persimmons, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were 2 different fruits.
From an appearance perspective, the fuyu persimmon, which is used for this recipe, is round and short. Some may refer to it as squat-shaped and has a similar shape to that of a beefsteak tomato. The hachiya persimmons, on the other hand, are longer in shape with a slightly pointy end, resembling more of a Roma tomato.
The most significant difference between the 2 fruits is their astringency, which affects the appropriate time for consumption. Astringency refers to that funny feeling in your mouth when it goes dry due to the level of tannin found in the fruit if eaten before they are completely ripe.
The hachiya persimmon is more astringent than the fuyu persimmon, and therefore, they can’t be eaten until they are fully ripe. When they are ripe, they are very soft, and their consistency is compared to an over-ripe tomato.
Therefore, they are not suitable for a salad as they would turn it into a soggy mess. It would, however, work as a salad dressing if you put it in a food processor with some vinegar and olive oil.
The fuyu persimmon is much less astringent and hence can be enjoyed when it’s not fully ripe. In fact, there are 2 types of fuyu persimmon eaters.
Either you prefer the crunch, or you like it soft and squishy. I have always enjoyed it crunchy and don’t like it at all when it’s too soft. As a result of this lack of astringency, fuyu persimmons make for a fantastic salad ingredient as we have in our Persimmon Salad with Candied Hazelnuts.
What Is Diospyros Kaki?
Diospyros kaki is the genus and species that bears the fruit of the persimmon. They are also sometimes called Japanese persimmon, Chinese date plum, Chinese persimmon, fuyu persimmon, Oriental persimmon or just plain kaki.
What To Do with Persimmon?
Apart from making salads with persimmons, there are many ways to enjoy them:
- Eat them as they are. You can cut them into wedges or peel them and then bite into them like an apple.
- Persimmon tea is a popular spiced beverage.
- You can bake them in a persimmon tart, persimmon loaf or even flavoured cornbread.
- It’s a great breakfast item and used in acai bowls, chia pudding and bircher muesli.
- You can use them to make salsa, chutney or relish.
- Spiced persimmons also make for great desserts served with double cream or some yoghurt.
- You can make savoury dishes such as making a chicken stew or sauteed to make some pasta.
- Create persimmon ice cream, sorbet or even popsicles for the summer months.
How To Eat Persimmon?
The calyx (hard leaf on top) is not edible. The skin is edible but not pleasant, so in most cases, they are not consumed.
Remove the calyx, peel, and you can just eat it like an apple or cut them into wedges. If the persimmon is really soft, you can just cut them in half and use a spoon to scoop out the soft flesh.
Flavour/Texture: This salad with persimmons is full of crunch. From the fruits to the pepitas, it’s one of those salads that add texture to a meal. The sweetness of the fruit is enhanced by the earthy yet tangy beetroot dressing which is healthy, delicious and gluten free.
Ease: The only cooking involved is boiling beetroot and dry toasting some almond flakes for about 2 minutes. Nothing too difficult by any means.
Time: The longest part of the process is cooking the beetroot for the gluten free beetroot dressing. During that time you can prepare the rest of the salad.
These are the ingredients you need for Salad with Persimmons and Beetroot Dressing.
Persimmons: We want fuyu persimmons for this persimmon recipe. Fairly firm but ripe and ready to eat.
Dried apricots and apple: Offering some sweetness to this salad with persimmons.
Mixed leaves: Any mixed variety will work. This will offer some greens for the recipe.
Flaked almonds and pepitas: Adding some healthy crunch to this vegan salad recipe.
Olive oil: Use good quality olive oil for the beetroot dressing
Beetroot: Just 1 large one or a couple of small ones will suffice. Boil them until cooked thoroughly and add them into the food processor to make the beetroot dressing.
Lemon: Need a little extra acidity to balance out the earthiness of the beetroot. It also helps to dilute the beetroot dressing.
Pomegranate molasses: This sticky sweet condiment is the perfect addition to this salad with persimmons.
Red wine vinegar: Creating the perfect consistency and balance of flavours.
Salt and pepper: To taste
Step by step instructions for Salad with Persimmons and Beetroot Dressing.
Remove the stem and leaves of the fuyu persimmon and discard. Peel them. Cut one persimmon into 8 wedges and slice the other into large wheels.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the mixed leaves, 1 tsp of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and massage the leaves gently.
In a small fry pan, dry toast the almond flakes for 2 minutes. Toss as you go, so they don’t just burn on one side.
Cut the apple in half and slice thinly. Keep it intact.
Cut dried apricot into small bites.
How to Make the Beetroot Dressing
Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add the large beetroot and boil for 20-25 minutes until soft. Remove, peel and cut into small pieces.
Using a hand blender, blitz the beetroot, juice of ½ lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, pomegranate molasses, red wine vinegar and some salt to taste.
Pour beetroot salad dressing into a small bottle or nice bowl. The dressing is to be added by your guests when they have served themselves some salad.
The reason I want to do this is because this dressing is on the denser side. If I tossed it with the delicate greens, it would just end up being a pile of mess that is stodgy.
So, adding it when it’s time to eat will allow the salad to look fantastic when it hits the individual plate.
How to Assemble the Salad
Select 3 of the best-looking persimmon wheels and set aside.
Place ¾ of the massaged mixed leaves on ¾ of the serving plate or platter.
Sprinkle half the dried apricots, flaked almonds and pepitas.
Place the persimmon wedges and all but 3 of the wheels nicely around the salad.
Place ½ the sliced apples on one side of the plate amongst the leaves and the other half on another side of the plate.
Place the last 3 persimmon wheels you had set aside to the part of the plate that is exposed to showcase the beautiful fruit.
Add the remaining mixed leaves on top.
Add the remaining dried apricot, flaked almonds and pepitas on top.
Season with pepper to taste.
Serve with the beetroot dressing on the side and for guests to help themselves.
Variations and Substitutions
Dried apricot substitute: You can use any dried fruit you wish. Cranberries, blueberries and peaches would work well.
Pepita replacement: You can substitute pepitas with sunflower seeds if that’s your preference. Or you can use both if you have some handy in the pantry and need to get rid of them.
Nut free option: Coconut flakes can be used for this salad with persimmons.
Pomegranate molasses substitute: You can substitute pomegranate molasses with balsamic glaze.
Great Mains for This Salad
What to serve with Salad with Persimmons and Beetroot Dressing? Try these delicious main dish recipes.
Creamy sausage pasta: This is the perfect dinner dish to whip up when you’re running low on time and ingredients. It’s ready in just 15-20 minutes, and packed with flavour. Serve it up with an equally easy salad with persimmon for some freshness and crunch!
Beef short ribs: Who doesn’t love a hands off dinner? Transform these beef short ribs bone in into a tender cooked and full of flavour dinner. It is so easy to prepare as you let the slow cooker od all the work. This salad of persimmon will be the perfect companion, offering some fruit and greens.
Roasted turkey breast:This roasted turkey breast is coated in a savory garlic and herb butter, then baked to golden brown perfection. The perfect quick and easy option for a holiday meal that’s really well complemented by a sals of persimmon. The perfect ingredient for fall and winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Saijo persimmon is considered to be the sweetest persimmon variety. It is slightly astringent, so you have to wait for it to ripen fully. When it does, it is very soft with almost a jelly-like consistency.
The Kaki Ribera del Xúquer from Spain is also a real contender, while the common fuyu persimmons can also be very sweet albeit less consistent.
The leading producer of fuyu persimmons is China which is not surprising considering it originated there about 2000 years ago. Persimmons were introduced to Japan in the 7th century, and the Japanese introduced them to America in the mid 19th century.
Persimmons are now grown all around the world, with many people having persimmon trees in their own backyards. Once they bear fruit, they do so in abundance.
Fuyu persimmons are usually ready to eat when you buy them. Place them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator if you’d like it to last a couple of weeks. Otherwise, you can just leave them in your fruit basket.
Hachiya persimmons need to soften before you can eat them, so you do need to leave them out at room temperature until then.
This is yet another example of how I like to layer my salads. And the reason I don’t just chuck all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and then pour it onto a platter is because the presentation matters to me.
You want to be able to see all the components while showcasing the persimmons. Also, salads don’t always have to be a heap in the centre of the plate. Skewing them to one side gives it a little bit of a difference. Enjoy this gorgeous vegan salad!
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Salad with Persimmons and Beetroot Dressing
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- Remove the stem and leaves of the fuyu persimmon and discard. Peel them. Cut one persimmon into 8 wedges and slice the other crosswise into large round wheels.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the mixed leaves, 1 tsp of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and massage the leaves gently.
- In a small fry pan, dry toast the almond flakes for 2 minutes. Toss as you go, so they don’t just burn on the one side.
- Cut the apple in half and slice thinly. Keep it intact.
- Cut dried apricot into small bite pieces.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add the large beetroot and boil for 20-25 minutes until soft. Remove, peel and cut into small pieces.
- Using a hand blender, blitz the beetroot, juice of ½ lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, pomegranate molasses, red wine vinegar and some salt to taste.
- Pour beetroot salad dressing into a small bottle or nice bowl. The dressing is to be added by your guests when they have served themselves some salad.
- Select 3 of the best-looking persimmon wheels and set aside.
- Place ¾ of the massaged mixed leaves on ¾ of the serving plate or platter.
- Sprinkle half the dried apricots, flaked almonds and pepitas.
- Place the persimmon wedges and all but 3 of the wheels nicely around the salad.
- Place ½ the sliced apples on one side of the plate amongst the leaves and the other half on another side of the plate.
- Place the last 3 persimmon wheels you had set aside to the part of the plate that is exposed to showcase the beautiful fruit.
- Add the remaining mixed leaves on top.
- Add the remaining dried apricot, flaked almonds and pepitas on top.
- Season with pepper to taste.
- Serve with the beetroot dressing on the side and for guests to help themselves.
- For this recipe, the hachiya persimmons won’t be suitable.
- Select fuyu persimmons that are not too crunchy but not too ripe either. We’re looking for a bit of crunch.
- You can use any dried fruit you wish. Cranberries, blueberries and peaches would work well.
- You can substitute pepitas with sunflower seeds if that’s your preference. Or you can use both if you have some handy in the pantry and need to get rid of them.
- A flaked nut is best used in this recipe as there are quite a few hard, crunchy and chewy components in this recipe. The flaked almonds give the recipe a softer texture. You can dry toast flaked coconut if you prefer.
- You can substitute pomegranate molasses with balsamic glaze.
- The Beetroot Dressing is served on the side as it has a dense consistency. Mixing it through the whole salad would cause the leaves to get crushed and wilt. Adding it only when it’s time to eat will allow the salad to continue to be light and not a whole stodgy mess.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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