Beets, Prosciutto-Wrapped Persimmons, and Bitter Greens with Creamy Blue Cheese

What a selection of eye candy: beets, persimmons, and radicchio! I’ve combined them all in a wintertime salad that was inspired by an appetizer of prosciutto-wrapped persimmons that I ate at Metrovino Restaurant in Portland, Oregon.

Ingredients

  • 1 small head escarole, about 1 lb/455 g, cored
  • 1 small head radicchio, about 8 oz/225 g, cored

Dressing

  • ½ cup/120 ml. buttermilk
  • ¼ cup/60 ml. sour cream
  • ¼ cup/55 g packed crumbled good-quality blue cheese such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or a domestic blue
  • 2 tbsp. finely snipped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 paper-thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 Fuyu persimmons, cored and cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 medium Aromatic Roasted Beets, prepared with red beets, cooled, peeled, and cut into thin wedges

Method

  1. Tear the escarole and radicchio into large bite-size pieces. Rinse the escarole in several changes of cold water and then dry in a salad spinner. Soak the radicchio in a bowl of cold water for 1 hour to crisp it. Drain and dry in a salad spinner. After drying, spread the greens on large cotton towels (not terry cloth) or on several sheets of paper towels. Roll up like a jelly roll and place in a large plastic bag. Refrigerate the greens until ready to use. (This can be done 2 days in advance of serving.)
  2. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, blue cheese, chives, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Position an oven rack 4 in/10 cm from the heat source and preheat the broiler. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half lengthwise. Wrap each persimmon wedge with a prosciutto strip and secure with a toothpick. Place the wrapped wedges, skin-side up, on a baking sheet. Broil the persimmons, turning once, until the prosciutto is crisp and just beginning to blacken on the edges, about 6 minutes. Remove the toothpicks after broiling.
  4. Place the escarole, radicchio, and beet wedges in a large bowl. Give the dressing a last-minute stir, then drizzle it over the greens and beets and toss just until coated. Divide the salad evenly among four dinner plates. Arrange two persimmon wedges on the center of each salad. Serve immediately.