A bronzed bird doesn’t have to be the only show stopper on your table. This seasonal composed salad is super-fast and easy to make and will also get a number of ooh’s and ahh’s.
If composed, this makes a beautiful and light side dish to accompany a heavier meal (think US’ Thanksgiving). Alternatively, this also makes a great one-dish lunch, especially if you add baked chicken to it.
What? You’re not a composed person and you don’t live like you’re in a museum? No worries. Just prepare all the vegetables and toss with dressing. In this case, there’s no need to dress and layer as described, below. Just add all the prepared ingredients to a mixing bowl, salt, add vinaigrette, toss and serve. It won’t look as nice, (enter sad face here) but it will taste the same and it’s even faster.
Composed (or tossed) Autumnal Persimmon Salad
- 2 ripe, but not overly soft, Fuyu persimmons (NOT the pointy bottomed Hachiya, which is extremely astringent unless ripe to the point of falling apart, or cooked)
- 2 endives, any type or color
- 1 1/2 cups (100g) arugula, mâche (French) (a.k.a. lambs lettuce (US) or valeriana (Italy)), or watercress lettuce
- 1 medium fennel bulb, raw
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- Vinaigrette to taste (Use your favorite, or make mine with the recipe, below)
- Core the persimmons, then slice in half vertically. Place the flat cut side face down on a cutting board and slice thin, half circles. Set aside
- Using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut very thin slices of the fennel bulb, discarding the core. Set aside
- Starting with the leafy, pointed end of each endive, cut 1/4 inch (.5 cm) horizontal slices, discarding the core. Set aside
- In a medium shallow mixing bowl, combine the lettuce and sliced endives. Sprinkle with salt to taste and add half tablespoon of vinaigrette. Toss and spread on a serving platter
- Using the same mixing bowl, salt to taste and add half tablespoon of vinaigrette to the thinly sliced fennel bulb. Leaving any excess vinaigrette behind, evenly spread the fennel over the lettuce mixture, leaving about an inch (2.5 cm) of the lettuce showing around the perimeter
- Using the same mixing bowl, salt to taste and add half tablespoon of vinaigrette to the sliced persimmons. Arrange the persimmons in rows or circles, depending on the shape of your platter.
Classic Vinaigrette Recipe
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher (not table) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients and shake or whisk until fully combined*
Tip: I buy restaurant style squeeze bottles at grocery or hardware stores. They are inexpensive and are great for mixing and storing salad dressings.
*When you store vinaigrette in your refrigerator, depending on which type of oil you’ve used, it will likely coagulate. You’ll need to bring it to room temperature and shake or whisk before using. Shake before each serving. Since this recipe has no chemical emulsifiers, the oil and acid will separate over time.