Pomegranate and Persimmon Salad

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The native American persimmon is a strikingly handsome fruit. Its glossy skin glows vibrant orange like a Jack o’lantern, with a deep-green calyx crown. Inside, the flesh is sweet and almost custardy when ripened — lovely to scoop with a spoon. It’s my children’s favourite fruit, and I’d say it’s a good bet for a fussy little eater. But let’s tuck into a jewel-like persimmon and pomegranate salad that’s all grown-up. Quite possibly one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten.

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe persimmons
  • 4 handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 2 or 3 ripe pomegranates
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful of walnuts

Method

Peel the persimmons, removing the calyces. Some people enjoy the crunchiness of the peel, and so if you’re one of those, forget about peeling them and just wash them thoroughly. Either way, slice the persimmons as finely as you can and scatter them on to four small serving plates, accompanying each one with a handful of rocket leaves.

Halve the pomegranates, then hold each half upside down over a bowl and pound the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon, to dislodge as many of the seeds and as much of the juice as possible.

Pick out and discard any of the white pith that may have fallen into the bowl, then sprinkle the seeds over your salad plates, leaving the juice in the bowl. To make a simple vinaigrette, put the vinegar and olive oil into a jar with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a couple of teaspoons of the pomegranate juice, shake and pour.

Lightly toast the walnuts in a small pan and sprinkle over your lovely salad… yum.

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