Beet and Persimmon Christmas Salad

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This Beet and Persimmon Salad with Blue Cheese and Crunchy Seeds was inspired by Top Chef winner Kristen Kish. She has a similar salad featuring summer stone fruit in her new cookbook Kristen Kish Cooking. What I loved about this recipe is the crunchy seed garnish. It’s made by baking seeds and honey together creating a crisp crumble that has a similar appearance to granola. But I have to admit that it’s her wreath-like presentation of this dish that made me copy her nectarine version to include a more seasonally appropriate combination of beet and persimmon. Making this a colorful plateful of something I’m going to call a Christmas Wreath Salad. GREG

persimmon slices Beet and Persimmon Salad with Blue Cheese and Crunchy Seeds

Beet and Persimmon Salad with Blue Cheese and Crunchy Seeds

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4-6Source adpated from Kristen KishPublished
Beet and Persimmon Salad with Blue Cheese and Crunchy Seeds

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon raw pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoon assorted other flavorful seeds (such as anise, nigela, coriander, sesame, poppy, and/or flax)
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon, extra virgin olive oil (divided, plus more for drizzling)
  • kosher salt (as needed)
  • 2 pound baby beets (use various colors if you like)
  • 3 clove garlic (peeled and halved)
  • 2 (½-inch wide) strips orange peel
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 firm Fuyu persimmons (trimmed, peeled, sliced crosswise into rounds)
  • 6-9 ounce crumbled blue cheese (or to taste)
  • 20-30 flat parsley leaves
  • 4-6 lemon wedges (or to taste)

Directions

Prepare the crunchy seeds: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a small bowl toss all the seeds with honey, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and a big pinch of salt. Spread in a single layer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the heated oven until toasted; 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully as they burn easily. Set aside to cool then break into small but variously sized clumps.

Roast the beets: Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

Remove the greens and scrub the beets well. Arrange the beets on a roasting pan large enough to hold them in a single layer and add the garlic cloves, orange peels, thyme, bay leaf, black peppercorns, and water. Drizzle the mixture with remaining ¼ cup olive oil and season generously with salt. Cover tightly with foil and bake up to 1 hour, or until the beets are tender (start checking at 40 minutes); transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool somewhat; discard the liquid and aromatics. If you are using multiple colors of beets roast each color separately as the cooking times vary and red beets will discolor the other beets.

When cool enough to handle (but still warm) peel and trim the beets and slice them into bite-sized wedges. Separate the beets by color to avoid discoloration.

Cut the persimmon rounds in half to create half moons, set aside.

To serve: Divide the beets and persimmons between 4 to 6 individual plates. Arrange them artfully. I chose a ring pattern for a holiday presentation, but any arrangement is fine. Sprinkle each one with blue cheese and crunchy seeds to taste then arrange parsley leaves on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with lemon wedges for spritzing.