Watercress and radicchio salad with Fuyu persimmons and spicy lime vinaigrette

Watercress and radicchio salad with Fuyu persimmons and spicy lime vinaigrette

Every November, a box of Fuyu persimmons arrives at my doorstep. They come all the way from California, lovingly gathered from a friend’s garden by my father and then individually wrapped before being shipped to me.

This year, my father had warned me that the harvest was meager, so I was doubly excited when a large box of these sweet treasures was delivered!

Although persimmons are best known for their contribution to desserts, one of my favorite ways to eat them is in salads. Their exotic flavor and delicate sweetness balance out the bitter greens marvelously. Add to that the cayenne-spiked lime vinaigrette and every bite of this salad is refreshing and tantalizing – a pure delight for the taste buds.

Food & wine pairing: Off-dry Riesling with Fuyu persimmon salad

White wine iconA slightly off-dry Riesling (like a German Spätlese) is delicious here. It’ll pair equally well with the exotic, almost tropical flavors of the persimmons and the cayenne-spiked vinaigrette.

Fuyu persimmons

Watercress and radicchio salad with Fuyu persimmons and spicy lime vinaigrette

serves 4
active time: 15 min

For the vinaigrette

  1. 1/4 teaspoon lime zest (use a microplane grater)
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  3. 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1/2 teaspoon honey
  5. 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
  6. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

For the salad

  1. 2 bunches hydroponic watercress – stems trimmed, rinsed and spun dry (regular watercress or baby arugula are good substitutes)
  2. 1 medium radicchio (8 oz) (225 g) – leaves torn in 2″ pieces
  3. 2 large, ripe but still firm Fuyu persimmons – peeled and cut in 1/2″ cubes
  4. 1/4 cup roasted, salted cashew pieces
  5. freshly ground white pepper to taste

  1. Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk the zest, lime juice, oil, honey, cayenne and salt until well blended and set aside.
  2. Step 2: Place the watercress and radicchio in a large mixing bowl. Add two thirds of the vinaigrette and toss until all the leaves are well coated. Place the greens in individual salad bowls or in a large serving bowl. Garnish with the persimmons and cashews. Drizzle the balance of the vinaigrette over the fruit. Finish with ground white pepper and serve.

Watercress and radicchio salad with Fuyu persimmons and spicy lime vinaigrette

salad, watercress, persimmon

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  • Reply Parsley Sage December 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I have never in my life tasted a persimmon! I’m not even sure I would have recognized one in the supermarket. They kind of look like tomatoes. I’m almost positive I won’t be able to find them in Cayman but I’m gonna look for them because this salad looks phenom 🙂

  • Reply EB December 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I’m from CA and grew up on these puppies! Delicious. I never thought to put them in a salad though! Perfect. I bet they’d play nice with radishes too!

  • Reply Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) December 10, 2011 at 6:02 am

    This is a gorgeous salad! I made one recently with persimmons and it changed my world. I love everything about this odd little fruit, and can’t believe it took me so long to discover them.

  • Reply Ann December 10, 2011 at 12:15 am

    What a stunning recipe and photo! I am new to eating persimmons….and I believe this is the tastiest presentation I’ve seen! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Viviane December 10, 2011 at 8:55 am

      Thank you so much Ann!

  • Reply Boulder Locavore December 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Viviane! This is like a culinary life raft as I’m floating adrift in the holiday sea of sweets! Always so fun when it begins but by now I’m generally hoping to never see anything with the taste of peppermint again and craving exactly what you’ve served up here. I love the seasonal flair with the persimmons and greens, the greens, the greens! You have such genius when whipping up a dish of the best the season has to offer; thank you! Toni

    • Reply Viviane December 10, 2011 at 8:54 am

      Toni! You are so funny and so very sweet! Thank you for your kind words… I’m delighted to offer something different here. It’s not too hard when you work with such inspiring and tantalizing subjects! Enjoy the holidays my dear.

  • Reply Liz December 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    What a stunning salad! I’ve seen persimmons lately in the markets…and I need to buy one and try out your recipe 🙂

  • Reply Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) December 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I love persimmons just the way they are and have also baked with them. However I have never thought to add them to a salad. I can see now how they would be complementary to other bitter greens and radicchio. I especially like the dressing that you prepared with your salad. Will have to give this a try.

    • Reply Viviane December 10, 2011 at 8:52 am

      Thank you so much Jean! I think you’ll adore the sweetness of the persimmons in this savory salad.

  • Reply Viviane December 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you for your lovely comments everyone – so very glad you all love this treasured fruit!

  • Reply Lori Lynn December 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Viviene – your salad sounds terrific. We are persimmon fans. The Korean market where I shop is bursting with them. I think I will give your salad a try.

  • Reply Janet@FCTC December 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    What a beautiful salad Viviane. I love to try new salads cause the same old greens can get boring after a while so I really want to make this one. It sounds delicious!

  • Reply Kiri W. December 9, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I have a my very first persimmon waiting for me at home, I am so excited! This sounds delicious, I bet the fruit gives such a bright accent to the crispy salad 🙂

  • Reply Donna Ford December 7, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Viviane, I grew up in California and I can honestly say I don’t remember seeing these beautiful persimmons where we lived. They look delicious so I’m going to try and find some. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Reply Angie@Angiesrecipes December 7, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I adore persimmons, and the salad sounds terrific with the combination of flavours. Beautiful!

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