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Endive Salad with Persimmon and Pomegranate

There are two main types of persimmon, Fuyu and Hachiya. For this salad, use the sweeter Fuyus, which are still firm when ripe and can be cut very thinly. Hachiyas must be quite soft before they can be eaten, making them difficult to slice. Any salty or tangy cheese will be excellent in this salad; try using fresh goat cheese or ricotta salata in place of the feta.

Ingredients:

  • 4 heads red or white Belgian endive
  • 1 large pomegranate
  • 2 ripe Fuyu persimmons
  • 1/2 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp. plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup pistachio nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. snipped fresh chives, tips and blossoms reserved for garnish (optional)
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. Champagne vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Trim the ends from the endive, separate the leaves and place in a large bowl.

Seed the pomegranate and pat the seeds dry. Using a mandoline, cut the persimmons into thin slices.

In a small bowl, stir together the cheese and the 1/2 tsp. olive oil. Add the cheese, pomegranate seeds, persimmons, pistachios and chives to the bowl with the endive.

In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and vinegar. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss together. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chive tips and blossoms and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm (Oxmoor House, 2008).