“What kind of weird orange tomato is that...” the check-out clerk wondered aloud, as persimmons made their way up the conveyor belt at the grocery store last week. Ten minutes later, there were two mangers involved, a low buzz of grumpy conversation in the line, and toes tapping impatiently. Finally, with the arrival of a third manager, and no persimmon on the produce list, I was told to name my price and take my strange fruit home. Victory! Persimmon Citrus Salad is worth the trouble to track down persimmons in your area, it is a festive and zippy salad, featuring winter's most vibrant colors and textures, bathed in a lime mint vinaigrette.
Persimmons are a fall fruit in season between September and December and there are a number of varieties of this fruit. We prefer the pumpkin orange, tomato shaped Fuyu persimmons, as they can be eaten at all stages of the ripening process, unlike other varieties which are astringent and incredibly bitter until they fully ripen.
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 small head bibb lettuce
- 2 clementines, peeled, divided into wedges, and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 ripe Fuyu persimmon (should feel soft), unpeeled, cut into wedges
- 1 ripe avocado, cut into small cubes
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
Lime Mint Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- To make the vinaigrette: Blend the mint, cilantro, honey, lime, oil garlic, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Note, you may find you have more vinaigrette then you need for the salad.
- To make the salad: Wash and dry the bibb lettuce and separate the leaves. Place the individual leaves on a platter to make lettuce cups.
- In a medium bowl, combine the remaining salad ingredients (clementine, pomegranate seeds, persimmon, avocado and cilantro). Add the lime mint vinaigrette to the salad immediately to prevent browning and stir very gently to combine.
- Spoon the finished persimmon salad unto the bibb lettuce cups and serve immediately. While this salad does not keep well as a leftover, the vinaigrette can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead.