Thanksgiving dinner is an exercise in overkill. There are so many dishes, so much food, so many different flavors, so much richness. Getting off to the right start is important. What could be better than this light, crisp, slightly sweet and spicy salad from Russ Parsons that's based on the best of California's fall flavors: persimmons, walnuts and pomegranates?
Even better, this dish is so simple to put together that you can safely hand it off to whoever's standing around the kitchen looking for something to do. It really is almost impossible to mess up. The one exception: It does have to be made within a couple of hours of serving or the cut persimmons will darken.
Fuyu persimmon salad with cumin-lime vinaigrette
Fuyus are the small, crisp persimmons.
2 pounds Fuyu persimmons
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (about ¼ pomegranate)
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1. Cut off the tough green calyxes
and slice each persimmon in 10 to 12 wedges.
2. In a small, lidded jar,
combine the lime juice, cumin, about half of the chile, a dash of salt and the walnut oil. Tightly cover and shake hard to mix well. Taste the dressing on a small piece of persimmon. There should be just enough chile to add a suggestion of heat. If you'd like it hotter, add more and shake again.
3. Combine the persimmons
and the dressing in a work bowl and toss to coat well. Turn the salad out into a decorative bowl and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, walnuts and cilantro. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if necessary.
Each of 8 servings: