A sweet and delicious fruit, the persimmon is predominantly used in bread and cake recipes this time of year. The more common variety used in baking is the Hachiya persimmon. When fully ripe, the Hachiya turns a brilliant orange-red in color, and is very soft on the inside—and by soft—I mean runny, gel-like, egg white soft. This doesn’t exactly paint an appealing picture of a fruit you want to toss in a salad, however, this is where the Fuyu persimmon comes into play. Just as sweet and delicious as the Hachiya, it makes the perfect centerpiece on the dinner table in the fall, and a fruit you can bite into—rather than having to scoop with a spoon or slurp with a straw. (Can you tell which one is my favorite?)
Fortuitously, my mother grows the Fuyu variety in her garden—and as you may have already guessed—she created a wonderful way to eat them in the recipe to follow. The melody of flavors that dance in your mouth in this persimmon salad will have your dinner guests begging for encores. (Moreover, don’t be surprised if they break into song, Andrea Bocelli-style….funiculi, funicula, funiculi, funiculaaaAAAAHHH!)
1 gala apple, hulled and quartered into wedges
1 Fuyu persimmon, hulled and quartered into wedges
4 cups (lightly packed) arugula, rinsed and dried
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Thinly slice the apple and the persimmon wedges into a large salad bowl. Add the arugula, and drizzle with olive oil and red-wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper; toss gently to combine ingredients. Serve on individual salad plates evenly distributing the fruit slices.
You can find more of Marinella and her recipes at her blog, PiazzaPress.blogspot.com.
Explore and learn about her cookbook You Never Grow Old at the Dinner Table at SpadaBooks.com.