fall fruit salad: minted persimmon with pomegranate and feta cheese

thanksgiving fruit salad

my grandfather loved fruit trees, and his garden was covered with so many varieties of them-from  delicate cherry and plum trees to the tall, beautiful persimmon trees he took such pride in. these trees were taken care of with much love and attention, and my grandma often “fed” them with compost (vegetable skins, leftovers, etc.) and trimmings from meats that were being prepared in the kitchen. the trees were a big part of our lives and we often talked about their conditions and how much {fruit} bounty they were expected to offer up each year. in the summer months my sister and i spent many hours climbing them and picking (and eating) the fruits (plums, sour cherries, apricots, mulberries, and apples) we could reach. when it came to the grand persimmon trees, we liked to look up at the orange dots which were way out of reach. my grandpa also kept a close eye on them as their fruits began to ripen in the fall, and eventually announced the harvest  or what i like to think of as a “persimmon appreciation” day-which was a big deal, with so many family members and close friends (along with the official fruit pickers with their tall ladders and equipment) descending upon the garden for the annual event.

by the end of the day, pounds and pounds of beautiful persimmons would be picked, admired, enjoyed, and distributed. i remember my grandma passing out spoons for us to scoop out (and eat) the sweet fruit (hachiya variety). in making my fall salad today, i thought about those memorable harvest days, and the endless snacks we enjoyed: pomegranates, nuts,  freshly baked flat bread with feta cheese and herbs, endless sugary cups of tea, and above all-sweet gooey persimmons. having just tasted (devoured, i should say) my salad, i’m pretty sure it will be a great addition to our thanksgiving meal this year.

ingredients for 4-6 servings:

  • 4-5 ripe fuyu persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large pomegranate, seeded
  • 15-20 walnuts, presoaked in water for 2-3 hours, then sliced
  • 1/4 cup or so feta cheese, crumbled
  • a small bunch of fresh mint
  • 2-3 cups of baby lettuce or arugula (optional)
spicy cumin-lime dressing:

  • 2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs fresh lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (spicy)
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste 

 

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