Happy weekend friends! Let's hit up something fresh and green before we launch into the December sweets and desserts palooza that takes over Pinterest every year. I couldn't help myself on the "sweet" though. It's that time of year and my sweet tooth is ready for some serious dessert! So how about a compromise? Candied Pecan Persimmon Gorgonzola Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette!
Personally, I think that persimmons are a massively underused fruit. They. Are. Delicious. Nothing really tastes like a fresh, ripe persimmon so if you haven't tried one you're going to have to give one a go this season! There are two major different kinds, the Fuyu and the Hachiya, so make sure you double check which ones you pick up.
Fuyu Persimmons are perfect for eating raw, squat in shape and much firmer when ripe, with a crisp bite and sweetish taste. The Hachiya on the other hand are great for baking. Elongated with a pointier bottom, they are NOT for eating until absolutely ripe, and then become rather mushy, aka excellent for smoothies and baked goods. This Candied Pecan Persimmon Gorgonzola Salad uses the Fuyu type for that crispy bite and sweet taste!
Quick confession: I wrote up the recipe to include peeling the Fuyu persimmons but you don't really need to. As evidenced by my photos, I didn't! The skin is soft enough and the inner fruit substantial enough that you can bite right through it in a salad, similar to an apple slice.
Back to the salad: Aside from the monstrous amount of Cranberry Daiquiris I made (literally a stock pot), I actually took this Candied Pecan Persimmon Gorgonzola Salad to a Friendsgiving about a week before the holiday and it went it over quite well! Personally, I like to think it was the full flavored, freshness of those Fuyu persimmons that made it a hit but I saw a couple friends secretly snacking on those homemade candied pecans ????. They're truly SO much better than store bought and make all the difference in the flavor of your salad!
They're also so easy to make with just 5 ingredients, no icky hi-fructose corn syrup or weird unnecessary peservatives/natural flavorings. If at any point a package or bottle, what have you, says "natural flavorings" I usually make a ???? face and set it right back on the shelf! The phrase "natural flavorings" covers a plethora of weird, unsavory ingredients that you probably, in all honesty, don't want in your food. If it's possible to avoid this, I say YES please! Especially when it's just 5 ingredients and only takes 5 minutes on the stove ????????. Win win!
PS. That Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette? ????????????????????????. It might seem random but the combo of the two flavors? A little sweet, a little tart, perfect for this salad. It's quickly become my new favorite.
Ok guys. I just can't help it. As I write this, I can barely see out my window due to mist/rain/fog. In short, a cup of tea, a good book and some zelda games are calling to me. Time to hibernate! So enjoy the weekend and as always, leave a note in the comments below if you try out this Candied Pecan Persimmon Gorgonzola Salad!Print
For the Salad
- 6-8 cups mixed baby greens (arugula, spinach, kale, romaine)
- 3 ripe fuyu persimmons, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
For the Pecans
- 1 cup pecans
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
For the Vinaigrette
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup raspberry balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of sugar, optional
- Dab of dijon mustard (⅛ of a teaspoon)
- For the pecans: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and add pecans, cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently to avoid the pecans sticking together. Remove them to a piece of parchment paper and let cool.
- Make the Vinaigrette: Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, mustard, and sugar if desired, until completely combined. Set aside.
- Make the Salad: In a large bowl, combine the greens, persimmons, gorgonzola, pecans, and dried cranberries. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to combine.