November 10, 2011

Discovering Persimmons

After a long day of work and school I went on a quest for an edible muse. There was plenty of food in the house, but I wanted to use an ingredient that was not typical of me.The store was not making it easy, and the journey began with the usual culprits. Zucchini, lemons, red onions and arugula all found their way in to the basket. 

Nothing was screaming “Hey Grub, over here! I’m different! Try me!” 

Then, hidden near the seasonal goods I stumbled upon a weird little fruit that looked like the red headed step child of a tomato and an apricot. What is this alien produce I have surely seen before but never cooked with?

A persimmon! They were so cute four of them came home with me. 

Persimmons were the catalyst to this shaved creation. The salad was paired with cornish hens; however, the hens didn’t make it. They tasted great but looked more like torture victims than edible art. Please keep them in your thoughts while you eat this salad. The battle of the Cornish hens will soon be won. 

Shaved Persimmon Salad
(Cut out the cheese for a dairy and gluten free dish)

2 yellow squash, shaved lengthwise
2 zucchini, shaved lengthwise
4 persimmons, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 cups arugula
¼ cup Parmesan, shredded or shaved (just as great without the cheese)
¼ cup sliced almonds

For the dressing:
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
The juice and zest of one lemon
Heavy pinch of sea salt
Heavy pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried rosemary

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl until blended. Set the dressing aside.

Wash and trim the ends of the zucchini and squash. Using a vegetable peeler (or mandolin) shave them lengthwise. Wash the persimmons, slice off the ends then cut in half lengthwise. Thinly slice the persimmons so they are roughly the same size and width as the zucchini and squash. Thinly slice the red onions in half moons.  Toss all of the vegetables with the dressing and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes. The vegetables will quickly soak up the dressing and take on the flavors.

Lay a bed of arugula on the bottom of the plate and top with shaved vegetables. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toasted sliced almonds.


  1. Funny I have a couple of persimmons just waiting for my evil plans! It's so fun to find an inspiring ingredient, isn't it?

  2. Ha-aside from the hens, this does look like some tasty edible art! Besides, this salad is so well rounded it doesn't need any hens. It is fun to challenge yourself with something new from the grocer. Congratulations for a successful food challenge, you can now go on to round 2!

  3. Once again, your post is oddly timely--I just received two persimmons in my CSA box. This looks fantastic!

  4. Gosh, your post reminds me that I have so many fruits I have yet to try. Persimmons being one of them. I just tried fresh figs for the first time this summer. Where have I been? This salad looks very fresh, light and inviting. I loved that you shaved the squash...very appealing. :)

  5. YUMMY! This is a stunning post - but I've never had a persimmon before. What do they taste like?

    Cornish Hens are next - woohoo!

  6. Heh! Poor little chickens :) I'm sure they tasted fabulous with this bad ass salad though. Looking good!

  7. I've never use persimmons before... adding them to my grocery list for the afternoons. You've inspired me. :)

  8. Very interesting salad. I love to try that for sure-)

  9. This really is a lovely salad. The color is magnificent and will brighten this dark PNW day. I am new to your blog, so I've taken some extra time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. I still have yet to try persimmons! I think I need to soon!

  11. A friend has a persimmon tree in the back yard of her new house...maybe I'll get some of her crop next year! Though local, I've never tasted one...and I have friends who rave about persimmon pudding. Your salad looks marvelous...I'll definitely check my market for this fruit :)


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