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Persimmon Salad

This persimmon salad recipe is a family favorite fall/winter salad. It’s a great side dish for any holiday table and has so much flavor and plenty of interesting textures. Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free.

Persimmon season is a short one, so when it rolls around, I like to take full advantage of this fall/early winter fruit during the holiday season.

Aside from this tasty salad, persimmon salsa is another favorite persimmon recipe. A few other ways to enjoy persimmons are: sliced and eaten like an apple, served with granola and yogurt, made into a seasonal caprese salad, or sauteed and served over ice cream.

The main thing to know is that there are two main types of persimmons: fuyu and hachiya. For this particular recipe, you must use the Fuyu variety, which has a firmer texture when ripe and holds up well when tossed with the dressing.

Hachiya persimmons have an elongated acorn shape and are very astringent when firm so they must be extremely soft before eating.

Salad Ingredients

  • Curly kale – kale is sturdy enough to withstand the dressing without the leaves turning to mush.
  • Fuyu persimmons – they look like bright orange tomatoes with a flowery stem on top. They have edible shiny skin, lightly cinnamon-speckled-looking orange flesh, a beautiful flowery design when sliced width-wise (see photos), and a petal stem on top. 
  • Pomegranate seeds – (or pomegranate arils) for color, texture, and flavor.
  • Pumpkin seeds – toasted for crunch.
  • Sherry vinaigrette ingredients – extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, dijon mustard, kosher salt, and black pepper.

How To Make Pomegranate Persimmon Salad

Step 1. Remove the tough kale stems then thoroughly wash and dry the leaves (a salad spinner works best). Cut the leaves into thin strips and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and use your hands to massage the leaves for about one minute. This helps tenderize the kale and make it more palatable.

Step 2. Not all Fuyu persimmons have seeds, but occasionally you’ll find one. Cut out and discard the flowery-looking stem on top, and cut the persimmon into thin slices width-wise. Then cut each slice into quarters.

Cutting Fuyu persimmons into rounds.
Thinly sliced orange Fuyu persimmons.

Step 3. Remove the pomegranate seeds. I find it easiest to cut the pomegranate in half and use your hands to pop them out.

Step 4. Toast the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes at 350ºF or in a dry skillet for a few minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally.

Step 5. In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk the olive oil, sherry vinegar, and mustard. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

Step 6. To the bowl with the massaged kale, add the rest of the ingredients and toss together with the dressing, then arrange on a serving platter, and serve right away. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this persimmon salad using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No kale? – use another sturdy leafy green such as arugula, spinach, or chard.
  • Can’t find persimmons?  – there’s nothing similar taste-wise, but two things come to mind. For a similar texture and sweetness, you could use other seasonal produce such as firm but ripe pears, Asian pears, dried apricots reconstituted in water, or roasted orange sweet potatoes. 
  • No pumpkin seeds? – toasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans would be nice.
  • No sherry vinegar? – check out these sherry vinegar substitutes, or use balsamic vinegar for a different flavor profile.
  • Add-ins – feta cheese (dairy-free or regular) maple syrup in the dressing, thinly sliced red onions, etc.

​Frequently Asked Questions

What does persimmon taste like?

Persimmons aren’t comparable to any other type of fruit, but they have a mildly sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon and honey.

Where can I find persimmons?

Persimmons aren’t as popular in the United States, but you can find them at the grocery store in the fall and early winter seasons. The best places to buy them to get the most bang for your buck are Asian supermarkets or Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods also has them but they’re very overpriced compared to other stores.

When are persimmons in season?

Persimmons are in season from October through January. 

More Winter Salad Recipes

Persimmon Salad

5 from 7 votes
A large platter of persimmon salad with kale, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pumpkin seeds.
This persimmon salad recipe is a family favorite fall/winter salad. It's a great side dish for any holiday table and has so much flavor and plenty of interesting textures. Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serving Size 4 – 6

Ingredients
 

  • 1 bunch curly kale, hard stems removed about 4 cups
  • 3 Fuyu persimmons
  • cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Sherry vinaigrette

Instructions

  • Remove the tough kale stems then thoroughly wash and dry the leaves (a salad spinner works best). Cut the leaves into thin strips and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and use your hands to massage the leaves for about one minute. This helps tenderize the kale and make it more palatable.
  • Not all Fuyu persimmons have seeds, but occasionally you'll find one. Cut out and discard the flowery-looking stem on top, and cut the persimmon into thin slices width-wise. Then cut each slice into quarters.
  • Remove the pomegranate seeds. I find it easiest to cut the pomegranate in half and use your hands to pop them out. 
  • Toast the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes at 350ºF or in a dry skillet for a few minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk the olive oil, sherry vinegar, and mustard. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • To the bowl with the massaged kale, add the rest of the ingredients and toss together with the dressing, then arrange on a serving platter, and serve right away. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Notes

See the blog post for FAQs.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

No kale? – use another sturdy leafy green such as arugula, spinach, or chard.
Can’t find persimmons?  – there’s nothing similar taste-wise, but two things come to mind. For a similar texture and sweetness, you could use other seasonal produce such as firm but ripe pears, Asian pears, dried apricots reconstituted in water, or roasted orange sweet potatoes.
No pumpkin seeds? – toasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans would be nice.
No sherry vinegar? – check out these sherry vinegar substitutes, or use balsamic vinegar for a different flavor profile.
Add-ins – feta cheese (dairy-free or regular) maple syrup in the dressing, thinly sliced red onions, etc.

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