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Author Notes: I served this salad with pork roast on Christmas Day. Persimmons are in season in the winter so find these flat bottomed beauties and be sure to make this soon as it will not disappoint. Different, with the bitter greens contrasting with the sweet sugared walnuts, pomegranate seeds and persimmons, this was an exciting alternative to sautéed apples with pork. This was also originally a New York Times recipe from David Tanis, but I have changed the greens to be mainly frisee replacing a lot of the chicory he calls for, as I thought that would just be way too bitter. Young chicory from the summertime might work, but not now – too tough and bitter for my taste. Everyone LOVED this salad so give it a go. —MaryFrancesCooks
ounces walnuts, about 1 cup
teaspoon fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt, crumbled
shallots, finely minced
cup sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
tablespoons walnut oil
medium Fuyu persimmons, peeled
ounces frisee and radicchio leaves including a handful of chicory leaves, chopped into bite size pieces
cup pomegranate seeds
- Make the sugared walnuts: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put walnuts in a small bowl. Pour very hot tap water over the walnuts for 1 minute, then drain. Add sugar and fleur de sel. Mix to coat nuts evenly, then spread them on the parchment. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until crisp and caramelized. Cool, then break walnuts apart. (May be prepared up to 5 days ahead; store in the cupboard in an airtight container.)
- Make the vinaigrette: Put shallots in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and the sherry vinegar. Let mixture steep for 10 minutes. Whisk in walnut oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Core and cut persimmons into 1/2-inch-thick wedges and transfer to a large platter with a well. Salt persimmons lightly, then dress with some vinaigrette. Add the frisee, radicchio and chicory leaves and gently toss with hands to coat leaves, pulling persimmon pieces to the top. Scatter pomegranate seeds over the top, along with any collected juices. Garnish with sugared walnuts and serve.