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.
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.