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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 Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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