During persimmon season I eat these sweet pumpkin-colored fruits in everything from baked goods to salads. A crisp yet tender Fuyu persimmon is especially delightful in a salad with frisée and radicchio, where the fruit's honeyed sweetness balances the bitterness of the greens. A handful of toasted walnuts and plump dates provides another layer of texture and flavor. Arranged on individual plates or served in a salad bowl, this makes an easy yet elegant dish for Thanksgiving or any fall meal.
Note: Fuyu persimmons look a bit like squat tomatoes. Unlike their heart-shaped Hachiya cousins, which must be eaten when squishy, Fuyu persimmons lack astringency and may be eaten at any stage of ripeness. When picking or shopping for Fuyus choose fruits that are deeply colored and firm but not rock hard. Stored at room temperature, they become softer and sweeter.
Frisée, Radicchio and Persimmon Salad with Dates and Walnuts
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces frisée, torn into bite-size pieces
6 ounces radicchio, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely, then chop.
In a small bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, combine the frisée, radicchio, persimmons, dates and walnuts. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
• The walnuts can be toasted up to 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container. The dressing can be prepared and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead. The frisée and radicchio can be washed, spun dry, wrapped in towels and refrigerated in an airtight container or zip-top bag up to 1 day ahead.
Want to pick your own persimmons? Check out our guide here.