This is my favorite fall salad. It’s easy, full of flavor, color and makes the most of the Persimmon and Pomegranates that are abundant in Chinatown at this time of year.
Persimmon, Pomegranate, Tomato and Watercress Salad
Peel and roughly chop two Fuyu Persimmons (they are the squat round ones, beware Hachiya which need to be pulpy and squishy before they can be eaten otherwise they are so tart it’s like they are sucking every ounce of fluid from your soul – really, yes that bad – you have been forewarned!) and place in medium-sized bowl. Cut in half one large Pomegranate, with a wooden spoon or some other dull heavy-ish object beat the outer skin of the pomegranate allowing the seeds to fall into the bowl. Pick out any pith that might have fallen in. Slice in half about 10 cherry tomatoes. Toss with 1/4 cup Sunflower or other non flavored oil, 3 Tablespoons of rice, vinegar, a pinch of sugar . Season to your liking with salt and freshly grated black pepper.
In a separate medium-sized bowl add 2 bunches of well picked over Watercress. I take out all the big middle stems and will leave the smaller ones that branch out. Some people take each leaf off which, besides being a lot of work isn’t necessary, watercress is crunchy less so if it’s only leaves. Add an optional 2 Tablespoons of Tarragon leaves.
In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup of Olive oil, 1 Tablespoons of red Wine Vinegar, 2 Teaspoons of Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the watercress/tarragon mixture with half of the vinaigrette, taste and if you want to add more. Taste again and season with additional salt and pepper.
Place on a platter or shallow bowl. Spoon the persimmon mixture over the watercress art the halfway point, so you one said of the watercress is covered and the other is covered in the persimmon mixture (see picture).
Feel free to adjust the amount of persimmons, tomatoes or pomegranates you use. The idea is to find balance, but if you end up with 3 or 4 persimmons and a few less tomatoes it really doesn’t matter, it’s a very forgiving salad and very festive ;)