Although persimmons are best known for their contribution to desserts, one of my favorite ways to eat them is in salads. Their exotic flavor and delicate sweetness balance out the bitter greens marvelously. Add to that the cayenne-spiked lime vinaigrette and every bite of this salad is refreshing and tantalizing — a pure delight for the taste buds.
*Note: If you can’t find watercress, baby arugula is a good substitute for this salad.
- 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- 2 bunches watercress, preferably hydroponic, stemmed*
- 8 ounces radicchio, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
- 2 large, firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, for garnish
- 1/4 cup cashew pieces, roasted and salted, for garnish
In a small bowl, whisk the zest, lime juice, oil, honey, cayenne, salt, and pepper until well blended and set aside.
Place the watercress and radicchio in a large mixing bowl. Add 2/3 of the vinaigrette and toss until all the leaves are well coated. Place the greens in individual salad bowls or in a large serving bowl. Garnish with the persimmons and cashews. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the fruit. Finish with ground white pepper and serve.