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Jewel-toned salad pretty enough for guests

Recipe: Persimmon-red grape salad with white-wine vinaigrette

Purple and orange salad on a plate
A salad as colorful as this one would brighten up
a weekday meal or holiday gathering. (Photos:
Debbie Arrington)

With jewel-like colors, this fruity combination will brighten late-fall or early winter meals. It’s simple enough for every day, but attractive (and tasty) enough for upcoming holiday get-togethers.

The main ingredients are few: Fuyu persimmon, red grapes, almonds and romaine lettuce.

It’s the white wine vinaigrette that brings them all together and accents their flavors. Using wine instead of vinegar softens the vinaigrette’s edges and complements the fruit’s sweetness. (It also keeps the persimmon its beautiful color.) I used mandarin orange syrup in the vinaigrette for another fruity note but a little sugar works as well.

two flat persimmons on a cutting board
Fuyu persimmons can be eaten crisp or soft, but
use the crisp ones in salad.
Fresh Fuyu persimmons – the squat and crunchy kind – look like orange tomatoes. Like tomatoes, crisp Fuyus make a wonderful addition to traditional green salads. (Save the mushy ones for cookies.)

Persimmon-red grape salad

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 large Fuyu persimmon, peeled and sliced

1 cup large red grapes, washed and halved

2 tablespoons almonds, chopped

3 cups romaine lettuce, shredded

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine

1 teaspoon mandarin orange syrup or ½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon seasoning salt

Several grinds of black pepper

grapes, persimmon and almonds
Grapes pair well with persimmons, and almonds
add some crunch.
Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine sliced persimmon, grapes and almonds.

Make vinaigrette. Combine all ingredients in a shaker jar; cover and shake. (Or whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.)

Pour vinaigrette over fruit mixture. Toss lightly to coat.

Add lettuce. Toss just before serving.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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