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”.
- 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)
- 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.
- Massage the kale leaves with half of the dressing. Set aside.
- Julienne or thinly slice the persimmon.
- Gently toast the pine nuts on a small skillet over low-medium heat until golden.
- Combine kale with persimmon, grated cheese, nuts, and the rest of the dressing. Toss right before serving.