Holiday Recipe: Autumn Salad of Arugula, Persimmon and Spicy Pecans Recipe


1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup pecans, lightly toasted
4 cups canola

1 Tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot clove, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 ripe Fuyu persimmons (can substitute pears), sliced in wedges lengthwise
1/2 pomegranate, seeded (optional)
3/4 pound arugula (can substitute watercress or spinach)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make Pecans: Mix the powdered sugar, cayenne, allspice, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil; add pecans and boil 5 seconds only. Drain and immediately toss thoroughly in the sugar and spice mixture.

Heat canola oil in a frying pan to 325°F. (If the oil gets too hot, the sugar coating will burn and fall off). Lift the nuts out of the sugar mixture with a skimmer and fry the nuts until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds. Drain nuts on a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet. (Do not use paper towels, as the pecans will stick.) Between batches, skim the dark bits that float to the surface of the oil.

Create Vinaigrette: Mix the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, sugar, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Slowly pour in the oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify.

Crisp Prosciutto: Separate the prosciutto and lay flat on a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Let cool on rack so the fat will drain. Crumble into bite-size pieces.

Prepare Persimmon and Pomergranate: Slice the persimmons into thin wedges, lengthwise. Cut the pomegranate in half (take care to watch for the red juices – they stain). Immerse the pomegranate in water. Break up the pomegranate with your hand. The membrane will float to the top. Skim off the membrane and then pour the seeds and water through a strainer. Measure 1/2 cup of seeds. Reserve the rest for another use.

Clean Salad: Wash, spin dry and trim the greens if necessary.

Additional Tips

To Serve: Toss the persimmon slices in a bit of the vinaigrette and set aside. Then toss the greens in the vinaigrette and arrange on plates. Place the persimmons on top, sprinkle with pomegranate and garnish with the pecans and prosciutto.

Recipe created by Parties That Cook®


Serves 8