This Persimmon Salad is super easy to make, sweet and fruity and beautifully colourful. It's got a great combination of fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, fresh leaves, and a delicious, well-balanced dressing that's salty, sour and sweet. It makes a great side dish for autumnal pastas and soups, but is also special enough to be the perfect seasonal salad for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
What I love about this salad is that it bridges the gap between autumnal and festive, thanks to the rainbow of beautiful, almost Christmassy colours - the vivid orange of the persimmon, the bright green of the rocket (arugula), the ruby red of the dried fruit, and the earthy brown of the roasted nuts.
Persimmons are a very common autumn/winter fruit in Japan, and are sometimes called sharon fruit or kaki (which is the Japanese word for them). They're sweet and juicy and become very soft when ripe.
For this salad, I'd recommend using a fairly unripe, firm persimmon that you can easily cut into small pieces. I've seen lots of people eat them with their skins on, but in Japan they're only ever eaten peeled (and I think this is pretty key to enjoying them as the skin is quite tough and doesn't taste very nice!).
Warning: Some varieties of persimmon taste very puckery and generally unpleasant unless they're very ripe, so make sure that the type you use are ok to eat when unripe/firm. Unfortunately it's hard to say exactly which varieties or shapes are like this as it will depend on the country where they've been grown, so it's best to check with someone from the shop you buy them from.
Substitutions you can make
- You can replace the rocket (arugula) with any other salad leaves such as lettuce or baby spinach.
- You can replace the dried cranberries with dried sour cherries or pomegranate arils.
- You can replace the pecan nuts with hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds or walnuts.
- You can replace the pomegranate molasses with any other sweetener.
- If you'd rather make this salad into a proper meal rather than a side dish, you could even bulk it out with quinoa, buckwheat, or Puy lentils.
More vegan salads
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Persimmon Salad (Vegan + GF)
- 2 firm persimmons , peeled and sliced
- Handful dried cranberries (or sub dried sour cherries)
- Few handfuls rocket (arugula) leaves
- Handful roasted pecan nuts , roughly chopped
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (or sub any other syrup e.g. date syrup, maple syrup, agave syrup)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or sub apple cider vinegar)
- Pinch salt to taste
- Place all the ingredients for the salad in a bowl.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl.
- Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
- Best enjoyed immediately.
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