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Kale and Persimmon Salad

Kale and Persimmon Salad
Growing up, we had a gorgeous persimmon tree in our backyard. It was a striking thing in fall, all those bright orange fruits hanging from spindly, nearly leafless branches. My mother would line persimmons from the tree along the window sill to let them soften until ripe. Try as I might, I could never get past their mushy, baby-food texture. That, of course, was not the fault of my mother – it was because we had the variety of persimmon that is not ripe for eating until the flesh is super soft. Then I discovered the Fuyu persimmon. They are firm when ripe and have a great, apple-like crunch to them. There is a lovely, subtly spicy quality to the fruit, vaguely like cinnamon, and because it is so sweet, it does really well when partnered with salty, savory or bitter flavors. This salad’s got that in spades.

For this recipe, I marinated the kale in lemon juice beforehand to soften the leaves – they retain a lot of that nice, chewy, raw quality but the lemon juice does a great job of tempering that just enough to make it more tender in its uncooked state. It’s not a necessary step if you’re short on time, but I think the salad really improves when prepped this way.


For the salad:
5-6 cups shredded kale, loosely packed
1 large Fuyu persimmon, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped, roasted walnuts
1/2 cup gorgonzola or blue cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon

For the dressing:
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the kale with the juice of half a lemon and leave to marinate in the fridge for about an hour. (You can omit this step if pressed for time, but it won’t be as good!)

Meanwhile, prep the dressing by whisking the olive oil into the yogurt. Then, blend in the juice of the other lemon half, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Season to your liking with salt and pepper and set aside.

Crumble the cheese, slice the persimmons and chop the walnuts if this hasn’t been done. Gently toss the persimmons and walnuts with the kale. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. Top the salad with the gorgonzola or blue cheese. It’s possible that you may have a little dressing leftover – refrigerate for future use.

This is best enjoyed soon after making!

  • Anon - I didn’t know there was more than one variety of persimmon available, I am going to have to have a better look. Love the salad recipe, with all the up-coming entertaining I like making and trying out new salad recipes. All the heavy food coming a good salad is a nice relief.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Lovely salad with excellent textures and flavor combinations–and quite timely. Well done site and photos, too.ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - Yep. Making this one this weekend! Looks fabulous :)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Looks amazing! Beautiful picture, great recipe. Let’s hope Trader Joe’s has persimmons lurking somewhere.ReplyCancel

  • kimberley - Erin – thanks! You have quite the lovely blog yourself.

    Tricia – Hope you enjoyed!

    E – Trader Joe’s is funny that way with persimmons. I hope they do indeed have them!ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin - Kimberley – I just found your blog via Lottie + Doof and am smitten! And I am just uploading pictures from a raw kale and persimmon salad I made at friend’s last week – I went with a cumin-lime dressing for a fall take on a side with tacos, but now need to try this yogurt-blue cheese-walnut version. Yum!!ReplyCancel

    • kimberley - Caitlin, thank you! A kale salad with cumin-lime dressing sounds ridiculously good. I am totally going to do that the next time I make tacos!ReplyCancel

  • Kale, Persimmon & Apple Salad « Caitlin Dentino | A celebration of food, drink, friends & fiestas … and life's other great surprises! - […] table.  Only thing, I may swap the dressing for a blue cheese-walmut version, much like The Year in Food’s version.  I mean, it will be Thanksgiving, after […]ReplyCancel

  • green salad with pomegranates and persimmons | brooklyn supper - […] eggplant…you get the idea), and I just never think to try new things. A few weeks ago I saw this lovely kale salad over at The Year in Food and it got me thinking that I should try persimmons, and while I was at it […]ReplyCancel

  • Thursday’s Menu « Caitlin Dentino | A celebration of food, drink, friends & fiestas … and life's other great surprises! - […] deciding on dressing – vinaigrette vs. walnuts and blue cheese. The blue cheese is obviously tempting, but goes against that whole ‘lighter’ note. […]ReplyCancel

  • bhaskar - I enjoyed your blog very much. The information was interest to me. Thanks for sharing the recipeReplyCancel

  • eviweetle - Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!ReplyCancel

  • James V Despain - Thanks for the great post. BookmarkedReplyCancel

  • Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted Almonds - […] with Pecorino Running with Tweezers: Raw Kale Salad with Balsamic and Pomegranate The Year in Food: Kale and Persimmon Salad with Yogurt Dressing The Perfect Pantry: Shrimp, Kale and Cannellini Bean Casserole Food Blogga: Easy, Butternut Squash, […]ReplyCancel

  • Big Salad. | Rachel's Recipes - […] added mango, grape tomatoes, sliced almonds, blue cheese, and a dressing from the same recipe as the kale instructions. The salad kept me mostly full but when the CFO stocks the office pantry […]ReplyCancel

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