Have y’all every had a persimmon before? I hadn’t until Saturday when I ran across a whole stash of them at Trader Joe’s, on special. If you have seen them, you know they look a little bit like a squat, orange tomato. Which is kind of what I expected them to taste like. But, nope. Not at all. They have a mild, sweet flavor that some have described as how you wish a pumpkin to taste. Whatever that means.
Since I clearly don’t have much exposure with persimmons, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the bag full I picked up at the store. Do I cook with them, bake with them? I had no idea. So I just ended up making a salad.
But what does one put in a salad with persimmons? I certainly had no idea. So I relied on all the other Fall foods I had available, like pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. To balance out all the sweetness, I also added some crispy pancetta, which is a fancier (and Italian) version of bacon bits.
To me, the best part of the whole salad was the dressing. (But, if we are honest. I think the best part of most salads is the dressing.) I made the dressing with some of the rendered fat from the pancetta as the fat in the vinaigrette, and mixed that with a bit of maple syrup and white balsamic vinegar. So essentially, it was dressed with bacon fat and maple syrup. Oh so healthy
Despite the fact that I just threw this salad together as an attempt to use up these persimmons purchased on a whim, it was delightful! The persimmons were sweet, the pomegranates were tart, the pancetta was salty, and the kale was lightly coated in maple vinaigrette. I had only intended to have half the salad for lunch, and save the rest for dinner, but before I knew it, the entire bowl was gone.
That happens more than I would like to admit.
- 1 15 oz bag of shredded kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage (or green of choice)
- 2 persimmons, sliced
- seeds of 1 pomegranate
- 4 oz pancetta, browned (fat reserved)
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp reserved fat from pancetta (or olive oil)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, toss together the kale mix, persimmons, pomegranate seeds, pancetta, and pumpkin seeds.
- In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together all the salad dressing ingredients. If using a mason jar, shake until completely emulsified.
- Drizzle salad dressing over top and toss to coat lettuce and toppings.