Winter Greens and Persimmon Salad with Vanilla Dressing

I start making this salad around mid-Autumn and continue making it through the holiday season. In fact, I think it is a perfect salad candidate to consider for any holiday meal.

I came up with the idea to make this salad years ago when I held a popular cooking course in Switzerland featuring market-fresh vegetables and fruits. I didn’t have much exposure to persimmons growing up, but I became an immediate fan after purchasing my first batch of these fruits. I especially loved the subtle vanilla flavor from the harder fleshed Fuyu persimmons. I thought these fruits were simply magnificent in every way and much better than a pear. So I replaced the pears in a salad I made in restaurants with a persimmon and just like that…the salad became an instant hit with everyone I shared it with.

I highlighted the subtle vanilla flavor from the persimmon with a fruity vinaigrette I scented with ground vanilla beans. And to compensate for all that sweetness, I decided to add chunks of salty Bulgarian feta cheese – replaced today with crumbled tofu feta that works remarkably well as an alternative. Pine nuts add a bit of texture to the salad and thinly sliced red onions just a hint of sharpness. Together, the ingredients blend into a heavenly mix…one that I am sure you will come back to time and time again…

Yield: makes about 4-6 servings

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