Crisp slices of fuyu persimmons mingle with assertive greens, tart pomegranate arils, and toasty dukkah all coated in a nap of pomegranate molasses dressing sharpened with lemon and olive oil.
*Many thanks to my dear friend Calvaleigh Rasmussen C.M.P. for sponsoring The Bojon Gourmet this month! Check out her Berkeley, California studio for relaxing Swedish-style massage and soothing Shiatsu.*
Persimmons are one of my favorite fruits, and I tend to go a bit crazy for them this time of year. Since they take a while to ripen, I loaded up a huge bag full of both fuyus and hachiyas last week at the Blossom Bluff farmer’s market stand. “Whoa,” the gal working there said. “You really like persimmons!”
It’s true, I do.
Pomegranates, on the other hand, aren’t my favorite fruit. Or at least, they didn’t used to be, before I learned the secret to getting out their fruity bits, called arils, easily. I took to buying packages of freshly removed arils from the farmer’s market instead of using up a whole pomegranate that sat on my counter, becoming increasingly dessicated as the weeks went by.
I brought some pre-fab arils to Sarah’s house last week to put in a salad to go with our pasta creation and she told me that she’d heard of two ways to get the arils out. One is to open up the pomegranate with a knife and smack the backside with a spoon. The other was to put the pomegranate pieces in water.
I’d heard of the water method before but hadn’t given it a try. Turns out it works like a charm, and lately we’ve been in pomegranate heaven, enjoying the translucent ruby jewels for breakfast with yogurt and granola, and in this savory-sweet salad.
The way I like to remove the arils is as follows:
- Use the tip of a paring knife to cut out the top stemmy bit, then score the pomegranate into quarters, only piercing the skin.
- Break the pomegranate into quarters and submerge in a large bowl of cool water.
- Work the arils out from within the pithy bits; this will become easier after a few minutes when the water loosens the membranes which will release the arils. The arils will fall to the bottom while the icky bits float to the top.
- Scoop off the icky bits and discard. Scoop the arils out into a strainer and drain well.
- Store the arils in the fridge for up to several days.
My family is mixing up Thanksgiving this year with a Middle Eastern-themed meal centered around pomegranate chicken. While I must admit that I’ll miss my brother’s brined, roasted turkey (he uses Alice Water’s method which keeps it incredibly moist and amazing), I love pomegranate anything and can’t wait. I think this salad will go perfectly.
This salad was inspired my Aida Mollenkamp’s persimmon carpaccio. Crisp fuyu persimmons make a mildly sweet foil to assertive chicories and arugula, all mellowed by creamy burrata. I make a simple dressing with pomegranate molasses, a Middle-Eastern ingredient made by boiling down pomegranate juice to a thick syrup, as well as lemon juice and olive oil. I top the whole thing with a roasty dukkah made from pistachios, sesame, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, and black pepper. A scattering of torn mint leaves adds an herbaceous top note.
I may bring one of these to our Thanksgiving feast, and I’m definitely bringing some kabocha buttermilk pies, and I’m excited to share my second pie recipe creation, coming up next.
What are your Thanksgiving plans, if any? Do you go with tradition or mix it up each year? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, or Twitter, subscribe to receive new posts via email, make a donation, or become a sponsor.
Two years ago:
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Tart
Three years ago:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns
Persimmon + Pomegranate Salad with Burrata + Pistachio Dukkah
This salad looks elegant when laid out on a large platter and served with a knife and fork; alternatively, cut the persimmons into chunks and toss everything together in a large bowl, adding the burrata and dukkah at the end. Look for deep orange persimmons that have just a hint of give. Don’t mistake squat fuyus, pictured here, for their hachiya counterparts; the latter must be squishy-soft to be edible and won’t work well in a salad such as this. If you can’t find persimmons, I think this would be lovely with apples or pears in their place. I like this salad with equal amounts of radicchio, arugula, and little gem lettuces, but feel free to use other chicories (such as treviso, endive, or frisee) and/or other greens. If you don’t have pomegranate molasses on hand, just add a teaspoon or so of honey and a little more lemon juice in its place. This will make more dukkah than you’ll need for the salad. It will keep airtight for a month or two and is excellent sprinkled over roasted vegetables, olive oil dipped bread, or hard boiled eggs.
Makes 2 large or 4 moderate servings
For the pistachio dukkah:
1/4 cup pistachios, lightly toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (white or brown)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
For the dressing:
a few rasps of lemon zest
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup good olive oil
For the salad:
2 large (or 3 smaller) fuyu persimmons, ripe but firm
3-4 cups salad greens (I like equal amounts of radicchio, arugula, and little gems), washed and torn into large pieces
1 (8 ounce) ball of burrata (or fresh mozzarella)
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
small handful mint leaves, torn if large
Make the dukkah:
In a medium-sized, heavy skillet, combine the coriander, sesame, cumin, and fennel. Toast over a medium-low flame, shaking the pan regularly until the seeds are golden and fragrant, a few minutes. Let cool completely. Pound the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, then add the cooled seeds and grind coarsely. Stir in the pistachios and salt.
Make the dressing:
Combine the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, salt, and olive oil in a smallish jar and shake to combine. Taste, adding more salt or lemon if you feel it needs it.
Make the salad:
In a large bowl, toss the greens with just enough dressing to coat them lightly. Lay them on a large platter and dot with burrata. Top with the sliced persimmons, pomegranate arils, mint, a drizzle of dressing, and a good sprinkling of dukkah. Serve with a knife and fork, passing extra dukkah at the table.