WINTER GREENS AND PERSIMMON SALAD WITH RICOTTA AND AVOCADO (A DREAM SALAD, FOR ONE )
I always want to give my post a poetic title, like Salad for One (if, you consider that poetic), but conventional internet wisdom tells me you want recipes, and you want to know exactly what is in them. The problem with a long recipe title is the same problem with a long ingredient list—it’s a mouthful, and perhaps at times, off-putting. Don’t let that scare you off. This is a gem, a real killer. I promise.
This isn’t just any salad. This is the kind of salad I skipped Saturday brunch with my family to put down on paper for you. One so good I didn’t even share a single bite with them the day I made it. And that doesn’t happen very often. Sure, I like a good salad. You might even say I love a crisp, bracing plate of veg—but not to the point of greed. Usually, I’m quick to share when something turns out exceptionally well. My husband and kids get the first pancakes hot off the griddle, the best cuts of fish, the prettiest plates and all the choice bits. Most days, I’m okay with that.
But, when you take the time to make a salad this fresh and good and nourishing—this SATISFYING—you might occasionally reserve the right to enjoy it all for yourself, too. You’ll see why. (Skip below for the recipe).
WINTER GREENS AND PERSIMMON SALAD WITH RICOTTA AND AVOCADO
1/3 CUP RAW PECANS, RAW ALMONDS OR A BLEND (I LIKE A BOTH—MORE NUTS, MORE FLAVOR!)
¼ CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, PLUS FOR TOASTING NUTS
¼ TEASPOON FINE SEA SALT, PLUS FOR SEASONING NUTS
½ BUNCH LACINATO KALE, STEMMED AND CHOPPED
½ HEAD RADICCHIO, STEMMED AND TORN OR ROUGHLY CHOPPED
1 SUPER RIPE PERSIMMON, STEM REMOVED AND CUT IN WEDGES
1 FIRM, RIPE AVOCADO, PEELED, PITTED AND CUT IN WEDGES
4 to 5 STRAWBERRIES, HULLED AND HALVED (OPTIONAL)
1 LEMON, JUICED
¼ CUP FRESH RICOTTA CHEESE
1/3 CUP TORN MIXED HERBS, SUCH AS MINT AND DILL
FLAKY SEA SALT, SUCH AS MALDON
FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
FIRST, TOAST THE NUTS. COAT A PAN IN A THIN LAYER OF OIL AND ADD YOUR NUTS. Pan-Roast OVER MEDIUM HEAT, STIRRING, UNTIL WELL COATED AND TOASTY, ABOUT 5 MINUTES, SEASONING WITH SALT to taste at the end. (ALTERNATIVELY, TOSS IN OIL AND SEA SALT AND ROAST IN A 375 DEGREE OVEN FOR 8 MINUTES; THIS IS GREAT IF YOU’RE TOASTING NUTS IN BATCHES, BUT FOR A QUICK SALAD, STOVE-TOP TOASTING WORKS FINE). ROUGHLY CHOP YOUR NUTS AND SET ASIDE.
DRIZZLE ABOUT HALF OF THE MEASURED OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE METAL BOWL, AND ADD THE KALE. SPRINKLE THE FINE SEA SALT OVER THE TOP AND, WITH CLEAN HANDS, MASSAGE THE KALE WITH THE oil and SALT UNTIL IT IS COATED AND BEGINS TO SOFTEN SLIGHTLY.
ADD IN THE Radicchio, PERSIMMON, AVOCADO, BERRIES, TOASTED NUTS, REMAINING OLIVE OIL AND LEMON JUICE, AND TOSS TOGETHER. ADD THE RICOTTA—IF YOU LIKE A CREAMIER, COATED SALAD, OR, PLATE THE SALAD AND DOLLOP THE RICOTTA OVER THE TOP (MORE MY STYLE). JUST BEFORE SERVING, SPRINKLE the salad GENEROUSLY WITH HERBS, MALDON SEA SALT AND GROUND PEPPER TO TASTE (THE HERBS WILL WILT IF THEY SIT TOO LONG IN THE LEMON AND OIL).
SERVE CRISP AND FRESH.
SERVES 2 (OR 1 VERY HUNGRY ADULT)
TIME: 15 MINUTES
I’m going to have a lot more delicious recipes coming your way soon—both here, and in my new book. But in the meantime, I’ve included a link for some of my other favorite sources for life-giving foods like this, below.