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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Persimmons Please

Uploaded: Nov 30, 2017
Persimmons are everywhere right now. Or are they?

A California friend recently told me persimmons don’t grow in my home state. “Have you ever seen a persimmon tree in Michigan?” Hmmmm, now that you mention it…...

DO persimmons grow in Michigan?

I write today slurping up the really ripe, gooey-kind, Hachiya persimmon. I wonder what frozen Hachiya put through a Champion juicer would be like? (If you’ve ever eaten frozen banana through Champion juicer, you can imagine where this might go.) Yum.

But if you’re holding the eat-while-crunchy, more user-friendly Fuyu persimmon,

here’s a favorite holiday salad from my book Cool Cuisine – Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming. For a hand-crafted gift with a kick, make up a batch of the Maple Walnuts, and wrap with a pretty red bow.

Grilled Persimmon Salad | Maple Spice Walnuts | Spinach & Frisée

This salad is easy but elegant, perfect for fall and holiday meals. Plus it has “kid appeal.” One of my ten-year-old students told me it was the only salad he had ever liked! Serves 4

Grilled Persimmons
2 Fuyu persimmons, sliced lengthwise in 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of sugar and salt

Maple-Spiced Walnuts
3 cups walnuts
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons cumin (fresh ground the best)
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups loosely packed spinach leaves, washed and dried
2 cups washed and dried frisée -stems trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 oz dry Jack cheese, shaved into shards (U.S. version of Parmigiano Reggiano)
¼ cup pomegranate seeds

TO GRILL THE PERSIMMONS: Preheat a grill or grill pan; make sure the grates are clean. Brush persimmon slices with oil, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and salt, and place on grill. Grill until slightly golden and softened, about 4–5 minutes. Turn over
and grill another 4–5 minutes. Set aside.

TO MAKE THE MAPLE-SPICED WALNUTS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss walnuts in a large bowl with maple syrup. Add spices and mix well. Cover a baking sheet with Silpat (permanent parchment paper) or a piece of parchment paper. Spread the nuts out in a single layer. Bake 10–12 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes. Let cool on sheet pan. Crack apart to remove and store in an airtight container. Crispiness will last for a week.

TO MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, and thyme. Slowly whisk in the oils. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, frisée, and red onion. Toss with dressing and a little salt. Garnish with persimmons, nuts, cheese, and pomegranate seeds.

Lastly, here's the honey fermented cranberries we Food Partied! about last week. Let's wait 30 days and see what happens.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by LH Bailey, a resident of another community,
on Dec 7, 2017 at 11:08 am

In Michigan, the native American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is common. It is much smaller and less productive than the horticultural Asian persimmon raised in California.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Margie, a resident of another community,
on Dec 7, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Love it! Grilling the persimmons - divine! I will happily add this recipe to my repertoire! Thank you, Laura!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Dec 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

LH Bailey, thank you. Are you from MI? I have never seen the American Persimmon. Good to know about it. I'll have to ask around at Xmas - I am headed back to MI in 2 weeks.

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