Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tomato Persimmon Chopped Salad

"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad." - Brian O'Driscoll

Fruit salad?

There are some foods that walk a fine line between fruit and vegetable. The tomato is one. Let's just acknowledge a few things here. All fruits are vegetable(s), because they are the fruits (or seed bearing portions) of plants, which... wait for it... are. vegetable. Remember the animal, vegetable, and mineral thing from when you were a kid?

The bottom line is that if it's sweet, treat it as a fruit, and if it's not, treat it as a vegetable. If it's starchy, it can still be either one (plantains are fruits and turnips are vegetables, for instance). From a dietary standpoint, try to treat starchy foods like you would a potato and don't count them as your serving of vegetables.

Most fruits and veggies are clearly used as one or the other, although a hard green mango or papaya is pretty good eaten as a vegetable, while the sweet ripe ones are eaten as the fruits that they are. Likewise, the fuyu persimmon in this recipe can be either one. However you slice it (or eat it), this is your invitation to relax on pigeonholing your produce.

Please understand that this salad must use a fuyu persimmon, which is a non-astringent variety, even when firm. Other non-astringent persimmons do exist, but use of most other hard persimmons will likely ruin your salad unless you really know what you're doing. Do you?

Not a tomato

Tomato & Persimmon Chopped Salad

1 medium tomato (the fruit that always starts fight about "fruit or veggie")
1 hard fuyu persmimon (a fruit)
2 Persian cucumbers (a fruit used as a vegetable)
1 red bell pepper (a fruit used as a vegetable OR a spice)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (the oil of a fruit)
1 green onion (a vegetable sprout)
salt (a mineral)
2 oz goat cheese (an optional animal product)

Chop all of the fruits into similar sized pieces and put it in a large bowl. Mince the green onion and add it to the salad. Salt the salad and toss well. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to an hour. Stir in the olive oil and toss before serving.

If you like, you can crumble some goat cheese over each bowl as you serve the salad. Now that's good stuff!

I think after eating this simple vegetable salad made mostly of fruits, I'm ready to try some more adventurous fruits in my salads. The farmer's market is tomorrow, so I'll see what I find!


  1. HI Roland. This looks wonderful! I'm jealous you are still getting such lovely fruit this time of year. 30 degrees this morning up here in the NW.Just thought I'd let you know I sent you an email. Looking forward to hearing form you.

  2. Yeah! Now I know what to do with the rest of my Persimmons! Thanks Roland:)


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