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Persimmon and Pear Salad

October 31, 2013

My nephew Daniel wanted to see the pictures from Israel and hear all the stories. So, of course, dinner was included. I already had a pot of lentil soup, baked chicken breasts and green beans. I wanted to prepare a couple more things to round out the meal.

When Daniel was a little boy (he hasn’t been for a couple of decades), he was very particular about what he liked to eat. He tended to favor things that were white. His little sister Karen (now a pediatrician with a little one coming… hurray!) looked up to him in all things, watched his food choices and followed suit. This would frustrate their mother (AKA my sister) to no end.

One day I said that I would take them out for Chinese. “Good luck,” she said, “they won’t eat anything.” I ordered veggie lo mein, tofu with peppers and steamed white rice. Straightforward enough. The noodles and rice were deemed acceptable. Daniel eyed the tofu with red pepper strips warily. Karen, looked up, with her big eyes fixed on Daniel. “Try a red pepper, I said nonchalantly as I handed a strip over to him, “it’s sweet.” He took it from me and tried it. Surprised, he exclaimed, “It’s good!”

A few days later, my sister called. “What did you do?” she asked. “They’re both eating red peppers! Sometimes it takes a village.

Years later, Daniel took to asking me for tips on good restaurants around town. These days, he tells me.

So, back to Daniel coming for dinner. Beverly, in my Hebrew class, generously shared persimmons from her mom’s tree with all of us. Fuyu persimmons are crisp like apples and have a subtle, faintly tropical flavor. I thought, “Perfect for a salad for Daniel!”. A couple of Bosc pears were sitting in my fruit basket.  I remembered wonderful cookbook author Marion Cunningham had brought the two fall fruits together and a salad was born.

Bosc pear and Fuyu persimmon

I hunted around for other items for the salad. Butter lettuce (spring mix would work too) for a mellow background, sliced celery for crunch. Pomegranate seeds were around and they would add color and flavor. That’s enough. I want to highlight the  fruit. OK, some toasted pecans over the top.

celery and pomegranate seeds

I dress my salads very simply. Many times, lemon juice, olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Sometimes balsamic vinegar instead and when I’m in the mood, a simple vinaigrette with a bit of Dijon mustard to help blend it all together.

I looked in my pantry, thinking I’ll do a little something different for Daniel, who like different things (smile). “Daniel, feel like lemon juice or rice vinegar?” He chose the rice vinegar. Cool!

rice vinegar for salad dressing

When Daniel texted an image of the salad to his sister, she immediately texted back, “Fancy!”

persimmons

Persimmon and Pear Salad

adapted with thanks from Marion Cunningham’s, The Supper Book 

Ingredients:

1 Fuyu persimmon, sliced
1 Bosc pear, cored and sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
3 cups butter lettuce (or spring mix)
2 T. pomegranate seeds
2 T. pecan pieces
2 t. rice vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 t. maple syrup
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
 
Directions:
 
Put olive oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper in a small glass jar with lid. Close and shake vigorously (if no glass jar is around [why not?], whisk ingredients together in a 1-cup measuring cup).
 
Toast pecan pieces in a hot dry skillet over medium-low heat for 3 minutes or until just  fragrant. Remove from heat.
 
Divide lettuce and celery between 2-3 individual bowls. Distribute dressing over salad and gently toss.
 
Add persimmon and pear slices. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and pecan pieces over top.
 
NOTE: Alternately, try mixing the dressing ingredients together in the bottom of a medium salad bowl, as Marion Cunningham does. Add lettuce, celery and fruit and toss. Finish with pomegranate seeds and pecans.
 
nephew
 
Persimmon and Pear Salad

 

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From → Fruit, Sides

2 Comments
  1. hsimpsongrossman permalink

    Might pamper my friends in Long Island this or next Shabbat with this salad. Thanks, love to both of you and Shabbat Shalom!

  2. Haas, Beverly J permalink

    Hi Judy,

    Thanks for the mention! I will forward it to my mom and sister. They will enjoy seeing it.

    Beverly

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