One thing California and Japan have in common is the abundance of bright orange Fuyu persimmons when November hits. Persimmon or kaki, in Japanese, are best eaten uncooked and must be peeled. The most common way to eat them in Japan is for dessert, perhaps alongside a branch of a few very plump kyoho grapes.
The thought of incorporating kaki into my meals never occurred to me until I was served salads with kaki at both the Chez Panisse Cafe and Pizzaiolo during the first week of November. It was definitely creative and very Californian and I shamelessly adapt it here for Japanify this week.
2 large handfuls of the freshest, youngest arugula you can find
1 Fuyu persimmon sliced
Recipe makes much more than you need, keeps for a long time
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
*use 2 tablespoons of dressing for the salad size above
1. Wash and spin arugula.
2. Peel and cut kaki into quarters. Slice thin.
3. Add all of the dressing ingredients into a jar, bottle or container with lid. Shake vigorously.
4. Drizzle dressing onto salad.
5. Toss well and serve.
Not only does this salad showcase the bounty of fall, it is also SO easy! You can add avocado if you want, but the salad is best kept simple with the contrast of the sweet kaki and the spicy arugula taking center stage.