Cranberry & Persimmon Salad

Fall cuisine can be so heavy, sometimes the simplicity of ingredients from this time of year is overlooked. That’s what is perfect about this Cranberry & Persimmon Salad. It’s fresh, light, and still tastes like fall.
|Written October 11, 2016


  • ½ cup cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Fuyu persimmons
  • 1 tablespoon roasted pistachio meats
  • ⅛ teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces baby spinach
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper
SERVINGS6 servings
TOTAL TIME35minutes

In a small mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of cranberries with just enough olive oil to coat. Then add in 1 teaspoon of sugar, and mix until all cranberries are coated.

FACT: They’re straight up American. Yup, the cranberry is one of only a handful of major fruits actually native to North America. Others include the blueberry and Concord grape. ‘Merica, f*ck yeah!


Place the cranberries on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. When they have wilted, broken open and look like these gorgeous things, take them out. Let them cool a bit then place them in the fridge to chill.


Take 3 persimmons and trim the ends. Then cut them into 8ths. Now, you don’t have to peel them but you can if you just want to eat the soft flesh (why does that sound dirty?). Personally, I prefer the texture of the skin (and I am pretty damn lazy) but for you, I will peel them.

NOTE: Persimmons come in two major categories: astringent and non-astringent. It’s all due to the tannin levels in each variety. Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent, meaning they are low in tannins, and can be enjoyed before they are fully ripe. You can eat them like an apple. Hachiya persimmons are astringent. So, they need to be over ripe or eating them is a very unpleasant experience. When ripe, Hachiya persimmons are very soft, and sorta feel like a water balloon. That’s why they won’t work here. It would be like cutting into jam. In fact, persimmons have such high tannin levels, they are used to brew sake. So be sure to thank a persimmon the next time you are throwing back a sake bomb. Check out this video on how to choose a persimmon.


Take 1 tablespoon of pistachio meats and coarsely chop them. I find it easiest to do this with a knife but if you have one of those nut chopping gadgets, just use that. Now… stop staring at my nuts.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon poppy seeds.

FACT: Can you get high from poppy seeds? Probably not. Culinary poppy seeds come from the opium poppy. When unripe, these seeds contain alkaloids like morphine. However, the ripened seeds used in cooking do not. Well, not much. They have enough to throw a drug test, but not enough to have any fun. So if you eat any, it will take up to 2 days for the alkaloids to clear your system.


Add in 2 ounces of spinach, persimmon wedges and toss until coated. Add in the chilled cranberries, a pinch of salt and pepper, the chopped pistachios, and toss a few more times.