Last week my boss brought two enormous crates of persimmons to work to share with everybody. Each time I walked by the kitchen I grabbed a handful, and soon ended up with more persimmons than I knew what to deal with! Recalling warm summer evenings and the beauty of grilled stone fruit, I decided to throw a persimmon on the grill just to see what happened. I daresay I now prefer grilled persimmons to raw. Paired with crispy, salty prosciutto and a punchy pesto vinaigrette, this salad is the perfect side dish to pair with a hearty stew or braise. —Ben York
- Serves 6
- Salad Ingredients
Stale bread, torn into small pieces
Slightly underripe persimmons, cut into wedges or circles 1/4-inch thick
heirloom tomato, cut into wedges
Sliced prosciutto, torn into medium sized pieces
Baby salad greens (I used a mixture of kale, chard, and spinach)
- Pesto Vinaigrette
Fresh basil leaves
toasted pine nuts
Scantly measured grated Parmesan
Extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- On a small rimmed baking sheet, toss torn bread pieces with 3tbps Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, and pepper until pieces are thoroughly oiled and seasoned.
- Toast bread for 12 minutes or until slightly golden and a bit crunchy.
- While bread is toasting, make the pesto. Combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in food processor and pulse to combine. Add the parmesan, turn processor on, and stream in 1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil slowly until pesto comes together to desired consistency (it's okay if it's a bit thick at this point). Store pesto in the fridge while you continue preparing salad.
- Add 2tbsp oil into dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot or skillet. Tear prosciutto slices and place in cold skillet. Turn heat to medium-low and cook prosciutto for 10-15 minutes until fat is rendered and pieces are crispy, turning occasionally. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
- Toss persimmon slices or wedges in 2tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill over medium heat and grill 4 minutes each side or until pieces have nice grill marks and have begun to soften slightly
- To make pesto vinaigrette: transfer pesto into small bowl and add the juice of the whole lemon. Add remaining 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1tbsp honey, and whisk to combine. Thin mixture out with water until it reaches desired vinaigrette consistency
- Assemble salad: Place salad greens on a large platter. Scatter croutons, tomato wedges, and persimmon wedges over the greens. Sprinkle prosciutto slices in between the fruit, then drizzle pesto vinaigrette over the top.