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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Persimmons, Pomegranate Seeds, and Arugula: A Salad of Unusual Qualities

Sometimes lettuce is just not good enough. With its peppery spiciness, arugula has a refreshing bite. In Southern California, even though it gets cold in the Winter, arugula thrives in the year-round sunshine, so we're able to buy fat bunches any time of the year for $1.00/bunch.

Persimmons and pomegranates are more seasonal. Suzanne Goin created a complex salad with all these ingredients.

I used her recipe as a starting point, choosing to simplify the ingredients and directions.

The combination of tastes is near perfect: peppery arugula, sweet persimmon, tart pomegranate seeds, and crunchy hazelnuts, all held together by the emulsion of olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar.

Arugula Salad with Persimmons & Pomegranate Seeds

Yield: serves 4

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 bunch arugula, washed, stems trimmed
2 persimmons, washed, peeled, thin sliced
1/4 pomegranate, washed, peeled, to yield 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon hazelnuts, roasted, peeled, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, slowly reduced to 1 tablespoon

Method

Tear the arugula leaves off the stem and put into a salad bowl. Add the sliced persimmons and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar. Crush the hazelnuts with the flat of a chefs knife and sprinkle them on the salad.

Toss and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

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