When I was a kid and my mom gave me a persimmon to try for the very first time, I was surprised it didn’t taste like a tomato, as persimmons very much resemble tomatoes. As I observed closely, there were specks of brown in the fruit—almost as if God/theUniverse had sprinkled the fruit with cinnamon and it was naturally occurring, embedded into the fruit. Hence, my initial childhood conclusion that cinnamon derived from per”cinnamon”s—hello, it’s in the name, duh! As I grew perplexed and analyzed that it was probably a silly idea since we had cinnamon sticks to stir hot apple ciders and Mexican hot chocolates with, and we actually had to ground cinnamon sticks to add into recipes I thought, “what a coincidence” and how beautiful of God to just sprinkle fruit with cinnamon and make a star shape design for us to see (when slicing the fruit horizontally). I just left it at that—a coincidence and viewed them as two separate things. Besides, how in the world would one be able to extract specks of cinnamon from the persimmons. Oh silly, silly me!
Fast forward 30 years when I had my twin nephews try persimmons for the first time, I told them the story I just shared with you, and they asked where cinnamon came from. Since I never looked it up, I turned to one of my fave instructional learning tools, @youtube 🙊🙈😁, and we learned that cinnamon is made from the barks of trees, rolled up by people in a forest (well at least the people in a forest in the video we watched). It’s a very timely process and I could not believe how much effort it takes to make and how cheap and available it is to us. I will never look at cinnamon and persimmons the same again, especially knowing now that they are mutually exclusive.
Moving on, although persimmons and cinnamon are both in season right now, this salad only contains persimmons. It’s a family and friend favorite this time of year. Make it for the holidays, for your parents when they come to visit, for a date, or treat yourself. It is super super simple, and contains the following ingredients: arugula, ripened and crisp persimmons, dates, shallots, #marconaalmonds, an easy soft cashew cheese, #saba, and sea salt and pepper.
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it!
Arugula and Persimmon Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes (not counting the time it takes to make the cheese. With cheese, one day.)
2-3 bags pre-washed baby arugula
4 crunchy fuyu persimoons, peeled, stem removed, and sliced into 8ths
1/2 cup marcona almonds
1/2 shallot, sliced very thin
3 dates, sliced very thin
handful crumbled goat cheese (you can use this vegan goat cheese recipe sans the cranberry and dill, and when you blend it, add 3 Tbsp agar agar flakes)
2 super ripe and juicy persimmons, stem and peel removed
saba (aged balsalmic), as needed
sea salt, as needed
freshly ground black pepper, as needed
1. Spread the arugula onto a serving platter.
2. Season with a dash or two of sea salt and pepper.
3. Tuck into the leaves bits of shallot, dates, marcona almonds, persimmon wedges.
4. Sprinkle on vegan goat cheese.
5. In a bowl, place the super ripe and juicy persimmon flesh. Stir it up a bit as if you are going to use it as a sauce. Using a spoon, in a circular motion, add the persimmon flesh as you would a dressing.
6. Finish off with a drizzle of saba.
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