The End of Winter Salad

March 22, 2012

It’s June in Toronto today, maybe even July, but definitely not March. The only things hinting that it isn’t summer are the the persimmons in the fruit bowl and the kale in the fridge. Oh, and the lack of anything green outside, that’s a big one. Otherwise, it’s summer. I thought that persimmon season was over, but I recently picked up a box of some fruit imported from Israel, and they were way better than the ones that were “in season” a few months ago. The box said “nature’s candy”. They weren’t lying. I do have to admit though, that I’m a little tired of just eating them. More interesting plans were in store.

Browsing through Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home the other day, I fell in love (again) with the salad section, especially where ingredient combinations were pictured without a recipe. Ingredient combinations are all you need to know, really. There was a “Winter Salad” that combined persimmons, pine nuts, and parmigiano reggiano, among other things, dressed with a sherry vinaigrette. Genius. I happened to have those ingredients, and that kale that was still whispering “winter”. I’m calling this the “End of Winter Salad”.
kale and persimmon salad

Raw Kale and Persimmon Salad
I’m sure Thomas Keller had a little more in mind for his salad, there were baby leeks and prosciutto involved. This isn’t really based on his at all, just inspired by a subset of the ingredients
  • 2 handfuls of chopped curly kale leaves (no stems)
  • 1 fuyu persimmon
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 2 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 – 2 tsp. sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • a few pinches of salt
  • honey, to taste (optional)
  1. Whisk the oil, salt, and 1 tsp. of the vinegar until emulsified and slightly thickened. Taste the dressing and adjust with more vinegar and/or honey to get a dressing that tastes good and balanced. Quantities vary depending on the vinegar.
  2. Massage the kale leaves with half of the dressing. Set aside.
  3. Julienne or thinly slice the persimmon.
  4. Gently toast the pine nuts on a small skillet over low-medium heat until golden.
  5. Combine kale with persimmon, grated cheese, nuts, and the rest of the dressing. Toss right before serving.
Makes about 2 small salads.

I ♥ Your Comments!

  1. I was shocked at how good this is! I just made it for lunch and ate every bit of it! I had all the ineendirgts on hand too. Today was my second day eating raw and I tasted the raw kale yesterday and I thought oh no! This is horrid! But I liked the salad here even better than a lettuce salad. Seriously more mouthfeel and flavor. I used curly kale and just rolled it up as best I could. A lot of it came out just finely chopped. Tasted NOTHING like raw. EXCELLENT RECIPE!

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