Persimmon Salad with Honey Pistachios is as delicious as it is beautiful! With blue cheese, creamy balsamic dressing, and cranberries in the mix, this colorful dish is perfect for the holiday season.
Composing a persimmon salad like this is similar to painting. The presentation is all about the colors and textures.
And the flavor is all about combining sweet and savory.
Persimmon salads are my favorite during the late fall and winter months, and they're especially lovely for a holiday table.
- Fuyu persimmons - Persimmon season is approximately October through January. During that time, you should be able to find them in almost all major grocery stores and at Farmers Markets. They should be on the firm side with a deep orange color.
- mixed baby greens - I like the mixed greens in this salad because of the variety of flavors and colors. Baby greens are typically softer, and the leaves are small enough that don't need to be torn.
- red onion - Try to choose onions that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- blue cheese
- dried cranberries
- pistachios - Preferably roasted and salted.
- cayenne pepper
- balsamic vinegar
- orange juice
- whole grain Dijon mustard - Whole grain mustard adds a very slight crunch.
- extra virgin olive oil - I like this one.
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
- Mixed baby greens. You can replace the mixed baby greens with any variety of lettuce you like.
- Red onion. Shallots are the best substitute for red onions. They're slightly more mild and delicate. You can also use yellow or white onions, which are slightly less sweet and sharper in flavor.
- Blue cheese. The blue cheese can be substituted with Gorgonzola or Feta. You can also use Goat cheese, which will offer a much mellower flavor.
- Dried cranberries. Dried cherries are my number one choice to replace the cranberries if you need or want to. Both are on the tart side, which is delicious with the other flavors in the salad.
- Pistachios. If you would like to use nuts other than pistachios, spiced pecans would be excellent, or walnuts would be delicious with the honey. (I love the pistachios because the green is so pretty and festive -- not to mention they're super tasty.)
- Balsamic vinegar. Red wine vinegar is a good alternative.
- Orange juice. You can substitute the orange juice with lemon juice -- ideally using Meyer lemons since they're a touch less tart and a bit sweeter,
- Whole grain Dijon mustard. A smooth Dijon works just as well, though without the subtle crunch.
- Using other fruits. Depending on the season, if you want to try other variations of this salad, peaches, mangoes, apples and pears would all be great combined with the other ingredients.
- Make it a main course. Add shredded Rotisserie chicken or pulled pork.
- Don't try to use Hachiyas in this persimmon salad. They are best for using their pulp in baking, only when they're super soft -- way too soft to slice. In addition to Fuyus, there are a couple less common persimmon varieties that you can use; Cinnamon persimmons and Sweet Pumpkin persimmons.
- I really like slicing the persimmons horizontally to show off their beautiful interior pattern, but they can be sliced in wedges as well. Either way, I prefer them peeled.
- There's a light sprinkle of cayenne on the honey pistachios. Omit this if you don't want the bit of heat.
How to Make it
- Peel and thinly slice the persimmons.
- To make the dressing add all of the ingredients to a small jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake. (Or, add everything except the oil to a small bowl and then whisk in the oil gradually.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing or serving bowl, combine the greens with the red onion, blue cheese, cranberries and sliced persimmons. Place the pistachios on a plate, drizzle them with honey and sprinkle them with a touch of cayenne pepper. Add them to the salad and mix.
- Add the desired amount of dressing, toss and serve.
- A Persimmon Salad is a lovely as a part of a Thanksgiving feast. It's delicious with Bacon Roasted Turkey, Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing and complements this Spiced Cranberry Sauce beautifully.
- For other fall and winter meals, it's especially good with Roasted Blackberry Butter Chicken or Coffee-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.
- And to keep your meal vegetarian, I love it with Rosemary Baked Sweet Potatoes and/or Slow Cooked Red Cabbage.
Can you make it ahead?
- You can make the dressing a couple of days ahead and keep it at room temperature. It can also be made up to a week ahead if it's kept refrigerated. (Bring it to room temperature before using it.)
- The onions can be sliced, wrapped tightly and refrigerated a day ahead of time.
- The salad can be assembled -- expect for adding the dressing -- up to a few hours ahead. If space permits, assemble it directly in the serving dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
Enjoy, and I hope you love this persimmon salad as much as my family and I do.
A little more about persimmons . . .
Two Common Asian Persimmon Varieties
There are two common types of Asian persimmons; Hachiya and Fuyu.
Fuyu persimmons are short and squat. They are ripe when they're firm and slightly soft to the touch. Fuyus can be peeled, sliced, or bitten into, just like an apple. They are ideal for salads.
Hachiya persimmons on the other hand, have an elongated shape, and are extremely tart if they're not absolutely, supremely ripe. When ripe, they are incredibly soft and have a silky smooth pulp inside. Hachiyas are typically used for baking, not eating on their own.
More Must-Try Persimmon Recipe
- Ginger Persimmon Bread
- Spiced Persimmon Preserves
- Spiced Apple Persimmon Cake
- Persimmon Prosciutto Pork Tenderloin
What do persimmons taste like?
The flavor of persimmons is a bit reminiscent of pumpkin and mango, with subtle notes of honey.
Can you eat persimmon skin?
The short answer is yes, you can eat persimmon skin.
Personally, I prefer to peel them. While the skin is not too tough, it's not as thin or soft as the skin of an apple. This is just a matter of taste.
Persimmon Salad with Honey Pistachios
For the dressing
For the salad
- about 2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced
- about 6 ounces mixed baby greens, washed and dried
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup pistachios
- cayenne pepper
For the dressing
- Mix the ingredients together. Add all of the ingredients to a small jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake. Or, add everything except the oil to a small bowl and then whisk in the oil gradually. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's how.) Set aside. You will likely have more dressing than you will need. Save it for your next salad.
For the salad
- Combine all of the ingredients. In a large mixing or serving bowl, combine the greens with the red onion, blue cheese, cranberries and sliced persimmons. Place the pistachios on a plate, drizzle them with honey and sprinkle them with a touch of cayenne pepper. Add them to the salad and mix.
- Dress the salad. Add the desired amount of dressing, toss and serve.
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