Simple Greens and Persimmon Salad Dressed with White Balsamic

Simple Greens and Persimmon Salad Dressed with White Balsamic

Puréeing ripe persimmons into a creamy dressing makes for a sweet and juicy salad without excess oil. Persimmons are a seasonal treat with a local heritage. Native to the southeastern US and Asia, but able to be grown in Canada, and now grown around the world, much of what’s available in this country comes from California, Spain, and South Africa and starts appearing in markets in late fall and early winter. The most common cultivars are Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons, and either can be used for this recipe. Just keep in mind that Fuyus are ripe when firm whereas Hachiyas are ripe when their skins are begging to break and their tongue-tying astringency has turned to sugar-sweet juice. The only downside of being so juicy is that Hachiyas can be tricky to slice at that point, so if you’re going for presentation, choose Fuyus instead. If you can’t find persimmons, use sliced grapes. And feel free to top this salad with dukkah for a nutty, crunchy touch. 

You can use any greens you like for this salad, from tender Boston lettuce to arugula to hardy kale, massaging the greens as much or as little as needed to soften them. Tender lettuces need just a gentle toss in the dressing (think relaxation massage) while kale needs something akin to deep-tissue. For tender greens, dress the salad just before serving so the leaves don’t wilt; hardier greens can be dressed well in advance.

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