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In the Kitchen With: Erin Gleeson’s Persimmon Squash Salad

by Kristina Gill


This week, I think we might have a first on the column: Persimmons! And maybe also pomegranate. Photographer and blogger Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast is the palate behind this intriguing combination of flavors and beautiful autumnal colors. Her Persimmon Squash Salad garnished with hazelnuts, pomegranate, radicchio and parmesan is a mouthful to say, and one of the most original and unique dishes we have featured on the column. I think this salad would be wonderful as part of your Thanksgiving celebration in all its elegance and contrasting colors and textures. When you try it, leave us a note, and let us know how you liked it! — Kristina

For more Thanksgiving food ideas, have a look in our entertaining archives where you can search by course or holiday. Some of my personal favorites include: Stephanie Dietz’s fresh cranberry bourbon sauce, William Brinson’s stuffed acorn squash with apple chestnut stuffing, Beatrice Peltre’s gratin dauphinois, Nikole Herriot’s onion and thyme buns, Susan Schwake’s apple onion cheese tartAdrienne Blumthal’s blackberry balsamic pie and Deadly Squire’s apple pie.

About Erin: Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast is a photographer based in northern California (near San Francisco). She works from her lovely cabin in the woods, which inspires her to create photographic recipe illustrations using local and seasonal ingredients. For more of Erin’s food ideas, check out her blog. Also, take a look in our archives at Erin’s Behind the Bar recipe for beer floats, which readers really loved!

The full recipe after the jump . . .


Ingredients

  • 2 cups peeled and thinly sliced butternut squash
  • 3 Fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced (no need to peel)
  • 2 radicchio heads
  • 1/4 cup shelled and chopped hazelnuts
  • seeds from one pomegranate
  • shavings of parmesan (for garnish, approx. 1/4c)
  • 3T olive oil
  • 2T vinegar (rice or apple cider vinegar work nicely)
  • salt to taste

 

Preparation

Thinly slice radicchio and lay on the bottom of a platter. Next, layer the thinly sliced persimmons. Steam slices of butternut squash for approximately 10 minutes, cool and layer atop persimmons. Sprinkle the platter with pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, oil and vinegar. Garnish with parmesan and a sprinkle of coarse salt. Serves 4. Enjoy!


Why Erin Loves This Recipe

Hello from The Forest Feast! This time of year in Northern California, everywhere I go I see trees full of juicy, ripe persimmons. A friend was kind enough to let me pick some of his, which I used for this seasonal salad. When eating persimmons raw, be sure to choose the firm, squat Fuyu type (the other more oblong ones are much better cooked). I combined the persimmons with steamed butternut squash, radicchio, hazelnuts and parmesan. This would be a great side for Thanksgiving. Happy Cooking!

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Comments

  • i leave in egypt and i don’t know about persimon,is it like peach or…..what can we put instead?????? it seems delicious.

  • Annie, personally if I didn’t have access to persimmons, I would use mango (still on the slightly green side, so that it’s sweet and still slightly tart rather than ripe to the point of being drippy-juicy). But yes, peach would work in a pinch, too.

  • I have a Japanese persimmon in my back yard. After several frosts, I harvest all of the persimmons and make bread and muffins. Can’t wait to try the salad. Always looking for new ideas to use them.

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  • What a gorgeous recipe – the colours are stunning but I imagine the lovely texture of the squash and persimmon would be great together. You could also use persimmon and the steamed squash in a sweet after-dinner salad. Omit the radicchio, salt, vinegar and parmesan and use flaked almonds, sprinkled with sugar and lightly toasted. Perhaps a little dusting of cinnamon.. But first, I’ll be trying this over the weekend..

  • I was so intrigued by the visuals I just had to try this salad. WOW!! It tastes as good as it looks. I did make a couple of changes as I used acorn squash instead of butternut used a melon baller to make balls instead of slices and discovered at the last minute that I was out of parmesean. However I can’t imagine it tasting any better.

    A word of warning to those who live far from a city: it may not be easy to accumulate all the ingredients. I live in a major city and had to go to 3 stores to get it all. Worth the trouble

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