Tuesday, December 1, 2009

From the Menu: Persimmon Pomegranate Madness

This looks so polished and all, but really it's just one big seed party. Toasted pepitas (which sound so much more natty than just pumpkin seeds), and pomegranate jewels are the sweet little pips that the whole salad is built around.

I love using pomegranate and persimmons together when their short seasons overlap. I mean, the sheer color riot alone...

And just what is it about pomegranate molasses anyway? All that astringent vanilla-tinged goodness. Insanely addictive. It is the perfect tart counterpoint to fuyu/fresh ricotta creaminess. Also its hugely copacetic with citrus, dates, pine nuts, mint, salmon, rice, yogurt... definitely a pantry stalwart.

Persimmon Salad with Pomegranate, Fresh Ricotta, Pepitas and Pomegranate Molasses (for 6)

1/2 cup pepitas

Sea salt

2 tablespoons regular olive oil

2 teaspoons aged sherry vinegar

Virgin olive oil

Pepper, freshly ground

3 cups watercress, about 1 large bunch, cleaned

3 Belgian endives, cleaned and separated into spears

2 cups fresh ricotta, like Bellwether Farms

3 Fuyu persimmons, washed and cut into 1/4-inch slices widthwise

1 pomegranate, seeded for about 1 cup of seeds

1/4 cup pomegranate molasses

Put the pepitas in a medium sauté pan with a pinch of salt and toast over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until they start to get fragrant and golden. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl whisk the sherry vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in a tablespoon of virgin oil. Add the watercress and the endive to the bowl and gently toss. Use about three persimmon rounds (half rounds if large) per plate, laid down in a triangle shape. Place endive spears between the persimmons, then a good handful of the watercress in the center of the plates. Dot dollops of ricotta around the cress, and sprinkle with pepitas and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and finish with a drizzle of virgin olive oil and a grinding of pepper. You can also arrange this all on one big beautiful platter, family-style.

Notes: You can grill the persimmon for added smokiness. And this salad is just as beautiful with roasted squash substituted for the persimmon.


Monica said...

Yummy!! What a lovely dish. I must try it.

winey said...

This post is making me very very hungry. You are correct, there is NO better way to cook meat. Uzi