Winter Salad with Arugula and Persimmons

Persimmons are in season during the winter months. The Hachiya variety, which is readily available in supermarkets, is large and round, with a slightly elongated bottom. The fruit absolutely must be soft and ripe before you eat it or it will be bitter, so plan ahead to allow firm fruit to ripen on the counter for a few days. When ripe, the red-orange flesh is creamy and juicy and the flavor is tart-sweet and unlike anything else—well worth waiting for or planning ahead. And it’s a wonderful source of vitamins A and C. Atop any salad it’s sure to dazzle you, but do try it with this super-healthful combination of calcium-, iron-, and vitamin A-rich organic arugula. Add thin slices of anise-flavored fennel and enjoy the combination of the peppery, mustardlike flavor of the arugula and the sweetness of the persimmon. It will make you do the “food dance.”

Ingredients

  • 1 7-ounce container of organic arugula, rinsed and drained well
  • ½ small fennel bulb, cut in half, then cut into thin half-rings, separated
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about ½ lemon)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 large persimmon, soft and ripe

Method

  1. Place the arugula, sliced fennel, and garlic in a bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Using two wooden spoons, toss well to coat. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Arrange the arugula mixture on a platter. Rinse the persimmon and, using a sharp paring knife, cut off the top stem. Cut the persimmon in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 3 or 4 wedges. Arrange the wedges over the salad. Serve immediately.

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