Chef Debi: Spring mix salad with persimmons
I love salad before dinner, and this is a great salad to impress holiday guests.
I made this salad for a client’s holiday dinner party last week, and guests enjoyed the salad and were impressed by the introduction of the persimmons.
There are two common types of persimmons. Fuyu persimmons are distinguished by their “flat” bottoms and squat shape. Fuyus should be more orange then yellow and are at their best when just barely a teensy bit soft.
Hachiya persimmons are mouth-puckeringly tart unless supremely ripe. Ripe hachiyas are unbelievably soft and often almost liquefied into a silky smooth pulp inside. They are elongated and oval shaped. They will ripen once picked, so you can let them soften on the kitchen counter until ready to use.
Hachiya persimmons are mostly used in baking. I used the Fuyu Persimmons for this salad.
They are low in calories and they have many digestive health benefits. They provide a good amount of fiber and also are fat free and a good source of healthy carbohydrates and natural sugar.
Spring mix salad with persimmons
For the dressing:
1 cup mild olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup champagne
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Pinch sugar, optional
For the salad:
1 5-ounce package spring lettuce mix
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 persimmons, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup maple glazed walnuts
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
Sea salt, to taste
Coarsely ground pepper, to taste
For the dressing: Whisk together olive oil, champagne vinegar, and champagne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the vinaigrette tastes too sharp, add a pinch of sugar and whisk until dissolved.
For the salad: Peel the persimmons and cut each into 6 wedges. Remove the seeds. In a large bowl, add the lettuce and dressing. Toss to coat well.
Place the salad in the center of each plate. Arrange persimmon slices around the salad and sprinkle with cranberries. Top with blue cheese crumbles and glazed walnuts.