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Autumn-winter salad with persimmons and pomegranate seeds

Recipe for Health

Persimmons and pomegranates are lovely fruits. They’re harvested in California from October into December. Fuyu persimmons—a nonastringent variety that’s good for salads—are round, sweet and crisp like an apple, but with a golden-orange color inside and out. They taste great with pomegranates, which are nature’s jewel boxes. Persimmons and pomegranates teamed with tender baby greens, crunchy hazelnuts and chewy dates make this colorful salad a crisp-weather favorite.

2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled

1/2 pomegranate

4 ounces (5–6 cups) mixed baby greens or mache, rinsed and dried

about 1/4 cup pomegranate vinaigrette (recipe follows)

3 dried dates, each pitted and cut into 6 thin strips

2 tablespoons (tbs) chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Cut persimmons in half through stem ends, then into very thin half-moon slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Arrange slices so they slightly overlap around edge of four salad plates. Scrape seeds from pomegranate, and discard leathery skin and white membranes (see “Food Focus” for tips on how to do this). Set seeds aside. Just before serving, place baby greens in large salad bowl. Add 3 teaspoons (tsp) of pomegranate vinaigrette (see recipe). Toss to lightly coat, then taste to see if more vinaigrette is needed. Mound greens on salad plates so persimmons show around edge. Scatter some of the dates, hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds over each salad. Serve immediately. Makes four servings.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1 cup pomegranate juice (bottled to avoid labor and mess)

2 tsp finely minced shallot

2 tbs champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

5 tbs good-quality roasted walnut oil

coarse (kosher) salt

Place pomegranate juice in small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Cook until juice has reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 12 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature. Transfer pomegranate juice to glass jar with lid. Add shallot, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and walnut oil, and seal lid tightly. Shake jar vigorously to combine. Season with salt to taste. Vinaigrette can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week. Let it return to room temperature before using. Makes 1 cup.

Source: Excerpted from Food to Live By. Copyright 2006 by Myra Goodman. Used by permission of Workman Publishing Company Inc., New York City. All rights reserved.

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