Fennel And Persimmon Salad

A letter I left in one of the houses in my neighborhood. 

Dear lucky neighbor,

For a month now, every time I pass by your house I hear your persimmon tree whispering “Please come pick my fruits”. I told her I would love to but I can’t just walk into the yard without permission and grab some. 

We also have a persimmon tree but her fruits are so high that only the squirrels and birds can enjoy them. Anyway, no one in our family likes the soft, mushy kind. They’re nothing like your firm and sweet persimmons! Your kind gardener let me have a couple.

If you didn’t have a fence, I might have stolen a few — I don’t enjoy stealing but your giving tree begs for it. She can sense that I appreciate her magnificent fruits. If you read the book “The Secret Life of Trees” you’ll learn that trees are generous creatures. 

I walk on your street almost every day. And every time I do, I look at your tree with envy. I make delicious jams, cakes and salads! Would you consider selling a bag or two or trading with me?

Thank you!

Your neighbor, Shelly 

The neighbors never replied, but two weeks later they left a bunch of plastic bags packed with persimmons on their fence. We took two bags at first, and then two days later, we took the last bag.

There’s no such thing as too much fruit, just as there’s no such thing as too much creativity. I used at least 5 persimmons a day in my cooking. The other day I made a persimmon ice cream (I blended 3 peeled and pitted persimmons with 2 cups coconut milk, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon brandy, then churned it in my cheap ice cream maker) and this salad.

By the way, there are two types of persimmons: Fuyu, the small, firm, non-astringent persimmons that you can eat hard or soft with the skin on; and Hachiya persimmons which are astringent and inedible when firm. You must wait until Hachiya persimmons become extremely ripe and soft before eating them.

About the recipe:
In my opinion, persimmons are like gummy bears – sweet, but not sophisticated. Nevertheless, their natural sweetness can replace the honey or maple syrup in a salad dressing, and their bright color makes any simple green salad look like a Henri Rousseau painting.

It’s easier to shave the fennel with a Japanese mandoline, however if you don’t own one, slice it with your sharpest knife. If you don’t have a sharp knife, it’s time to invest in one.

Fennel And Persimmon Salad

The kind of salad you make when you want to impress, including yourself. The perfect salad. Tangy, crunchy, persimmon-sweet, fragrant and delicious. And only 10 minutes to make.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Healthy
Keyword: salad
Servings: 2
Author: Shelly

Equipment

  • Japanese mandolin optional

Ingredients

  • 1 hard persimmon - peeled, pitted and julienned
  • 1 medium fennel bulb - sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1 bunch of arugula - rinsed thoroughly
  • Handful walnuts or any other nut - chopped
  • Lemon juice - about 2 tablespoons
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  • Put the persimmon, fennel, arugula and nuts into a large salad bowl.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice over the salad. Add a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the salad – preferably with your hands – to evenly coat everything with the dressing. Serve immediately.

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