roasted fennel and persimmon salad
This roasted fennel and persimmon salad has a hint of sweetness from the persimmons, a crunchy texture from the walnuts and market greens and some added warmth from the roasted fennel. The salad is as beautiful as it is delicious—from the vibrant orange of the persimmon to the with various shades of green of the fennel prongs and mixed lettuces. You can top this salad with ricotta salata, fresh parmesan or pecorino shavings, or vegan ricotta.
instead of coring the fennel, I leave it be to keep the delicate layers in tact; it’s perfectly edible and tender from the roasting. You can use a neutral cooking oil if you like, or olive oil will do just fine. Try to find some high quality greens here—the farmers’ markets are loaded with different types of lettuces at this time of the year. I used French romaine and some frisee, but chicories would be perfect too. You can sub any nut or seed if you don’t have walnuts on hand. If your nuts are raw, simply cook them in a dry pan for a few minutes on medium heat until they are toasted and fragrant (be careful not to leave them unattended!).
I would love to hear about any substitutions or changes you made in your version of this recipe, or simply tell me how it went in the comment section below.
Roasted Fennel and Persimmon Salad
vegan option, gluten-free, soy-free
Serves: 2 as a main course, 4 as a side
- 1 fennel bulb, stems removed and sliced lengthwise into quarters; reserving some of the fronds for garnish
- 1-2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, such as avocado oil
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
- 2 fuyu (Japanese) persimmons, sliced into quarters
- 4 cups mixed lettuce and chicories
- 5 tablespoons high quality olive oil
- 1 sprig of thyme, woody stems removed
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4-1/2 tsp honey or agave
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: vegan ricotta, ricotta salata or shaved parmesan to top
- Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the sliced fennel with a neutral cooking oil, such as avocado oil, and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. When the oven is ready, roast the fennel for 20-25 minutes or until tender and browned around the edges (rotate the pan and flip over the fennel slices half way through cooking).
- In a small bowl or Pyrex, combine the olive oil, thyme leaves, lemon juice, honey or agave, and salt and pepper to taste; whisk until emulsified. If using raw walnuts, cook them over medium heat in a dry skillet, stirring frequently until toasted and fragrant.
- Assemble the salad starting with the lettuce; then add the fennel and persimmons. Drizzle with the dressing and top with toasted walnuts, sea salt and pepper to taste, and optional cheese of your choice.