Recipe: Persimmon-red grape salad with white-wine vinaigrette
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.
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
1 large Fuyu persimmon, peeled and sliced
1 cup large red grapes, washed and halved
2 tablespoons almonds, chopped
3 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
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
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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For week of Nov. 26:
Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!
* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.
* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.
* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.
* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.
* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.
* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.
* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.
* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.
* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.
* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.
* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.
* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.
* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.
* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.
* Plant garlic and onions.
* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.
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