Persimmon + Pomegranate Salad with Burrata + Pistachio Dukkah

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!

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Persimmon pursuits:
Persimmon + Tangerine Smoothies with Ginger, Turmeric + Vanilla Bean 
Persimmon Cranberry Crisp
Persimmon Galettes

Serious Salads:
Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad with Chile and Lime
Farro and Cucumber Salad with Feta, Dill and Mint 
Kale, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Salad 

One year ago:
Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Chestnuts, Leeks and Chanterelles

Two years ago:
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Tart

Three years ago:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Four years ago:
Smoky Tomato Butterbean Soup, and Cheddar Biscuits
Baked Pancake with Pear and Cardamom
Pecan-Topped Sweet Potato Pie

Five years ago:
Sourdough Apple Oat Pancakes
Curried Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Collard Greens

Persimmon + Pomegranate Salad with Burrata + Pistachio Dukkah

Salad inspired by Aida Mollenkamp, dukkah adapted from Super Natural Everyday

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.

29 thoughts on “Persimmon + Pomegranate Salad with Burrata + Pistachio Dukkah”

  1. I want to eat everything you make! This looks amazing. I made dukkah for the first time a few months ago and have put it on almost everything but salad! I have never tried persimmons, but I did see some at the store recently. This salad will be a great way to introduce myself to them. Also, burrata=true love.

    1. Aw, thank you Rebecca! I'd love to hear more about your dukkah adventures – I have a couple jars of it to use up now. Burrata is true love indeed. Half of it went straight into my mouth before making it to this salad. :)

  2. Ahh the colours are so vivid and absolutely stunning! I just walked by persimmons today (called Sharon fruit in England), paused briefly but then just kept on walking. I am always hesitant to buy them because I remember them being chalky when not ripe. Do they ripen in the fruit basket? I know it sounds crazy but my mom used to freeze them and that little trick got rid of the chalkiness but then what's the point…you end up eating frozen fruit. Yours look so lovely, Alanna, and ripe! :-) Any tips?

    1. Sharon fruit – how interesting! The squat fuyus can be a bit chalky when underripe and they will ripen up on the counter after a week or two. Try them when they're deep orange and have just a hint of give and I think you'll find their flesh soft and sweet. The oblong hachiyas, on the other hand, do have to be squishy-soft and gelatinous before you can eat them, so I'd start with the fuyus for sure. Let me know if you give them a try! Thanks for the kind words, friend! :)

  3. I'm SO glad you tested the water method so now I won't have to let my pomegranates shrivel up in the fruit bowl. Those persimmons are just so beautiful – I love the star-like pattern they don. And I'd like to eat this salad every night this week. Also – is this dukkah similar to the one you had on those crackers at the fig fest?! I was obsessed with that. I think I ate more than anyone else.

  4. What a beauty of a salad! Those colors are incredible; so festive. I'm really bad with persimmons. I didn't grow up eating them, so I always feel a bit lost when I spot some at the grocery store. "Are these ripe?" "How should I eat them?" So most of the time I just ignore them. Bad, bad me! What's your favorite way to enjoy them, Alanna? Any tips of how to make me a persimmon lover?

    1. Ha! I would definitely start with the squat fuyu persimmons since they can be eaten when crisp, like apples. Make sure they're a deep orange and have just a hint of give. Cut off the top and slice them into wedges and eat them as is, or stick them in a salad or over breakfast oatmeal. I think you'll be converted. You've reminded me that I didn't link to any of my old persimmon recipes; I'll rectify that now!

  5. Could this salad be any more gorgeous?? I think not! I am loving the idea of a Middle-Eastern themed Thanksgiving. We here are staunch traditionalists when it comes to Thanksgiving, but the advantage of the food blogger is being able to explore all kinds of holiday recipes and then stick to the traditional for the actual day! : )

  6. I have a paper bag of persminnons ripening in my kitchen at this very moment. I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with them but this salad is perfect inspiration. The colours are such a ray of sunshine in the midst of a gloomy November day.

  7. I really love the look of this salad, a beautiful combination. I haven't ever really eaten persimmons but you've inspired me to try them (anything which pairs well with burrata must be good). I also use the water dunking method for the pomegranate, definitely makes a lot less mess!

  8. We made this today for Valentine’s Day, where we are, there were no persimmons available so i used a large honey tangerine. Followed the recipe exact! I do love me some dukkah! It was wonderful! The colors, the cheese, the dressing! The flavors! Beautiful! My husband and I loved it! Thank you for sharing this lovely salad!

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