Looking for a Thanksgiving salad that just screams fall? Well, get out your ear plugs because this Persimmon, Pomegranate & Quinoa Salad is just that. Beautiful, crisp, and damn tasty!
Wash and trim 1 beet and wrap it in foil. Place it on a baking sheet and roast it for about an hour at 375 degrees F until fork tender. FACT: Did you know that beets were considered an aphrodisiac by the ancient Romans? And they were on to something. Because of their nitrates, these tasty little gems can increase blood flow...all the way down there. Also, they contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to human sex hormone production. Sounds like the only thing this hummus recipe is missing is some Barry White.
Trim 2 fuyu persimmons and cut them into wedges. I like to call them wedgies for the obvious reasons. Oh, if it isn't obv ... it's because I have the sense of humor of a 13-year-old boy. 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.
Now let's prep 1 pomegranate. Just check out my How To video on the quick and easy way to seed one. You're only going to need 1/4 cup of arils for this recipe but if you want to use more, I won't tell. FACT: The word grenade comes from the French term for pomegranate; it's spelled like the weapon but is pronounced gruh-NOD, you know, because it's French and all. In the 16th century, European armies used round, fist-sized bombs filled with large grains of gunpowder. Their shape, and the gunpowder's resemblance to pomegranate arils, is how they got their name. Oddly enough, newer grenades, with their segmented shell and oblong shape, are sometimes referred to as pineapples.
Take 1/4 cups of whole pecans and simply spread them in a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown, stirring often. Generally, nuts will be toasted in 6-10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the persimmons, pomegranate arils, 2 ounces arugula, 1/4 cup cooked quinoa (it should be cold), pecans, 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Toss until all ingredients are coated. Then just salt and pepper to taste.