Red Butter Lettuce Salad with Persimmons


In our family, we serve a salad with pretty much every meal. Salads are a great way to showcase whatever beautiful, local produce is in season. This red butter lettuce salad incorporates a variety of traditional fall flavors and makes for a beautiful addition to any fall dinner party or Thanksgiving table.



This salad is one of our favorites. Any great salad starts with a great dressing and this one is a simple shallot vinaigrette with a twist. Instead of adding honey, for this fall version, we add finely diced persimmons. The persimmon shallot dressing pairs perfectly with the crisp butter lettuce, fresh herbs, and spiced pecans. This salad is fall on a plate. It’s beautiful and so delicious.



Start by making the salad dressing which marries together the sweetness of persimmon with the tang of sherry vinegar and is packed full of classic fall herbs. To make the dressing, dice the shallot and herbs, and mix them with olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Then toss your red butter lettuces with the persimmon dressing. For an impactful presentation, thinly slice a whole persimmon and fan the slices around a large plate. Place dressed lettuces in the center and top with cranberries, goat cheese, and spiced pecans.



Notes:

  1. Persimmons: Although we love persimmons and think they make for a delicious and beautiful salad, if you don’t like the flavor you can either swap them out for a different fall fruit like pear or leave them out all together. For the dressing, you just want to make sure to have something soft enough that will almost melt into the vinegarette.

  2. Spiced Pecans: These are a great addition to almost any fall salad and make for a great hostess gift. Homemade or store bought both work fine for this recipe!



Yield: 6-8 side salad servings

PREP TIME 15 minutes | COOK TIME 0 minutes | TOTAL TIME 15 minutes


Ingredients:


Dressing:

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup sherry vinegar

1 shallot, minced

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 sage leaves, chopped

2 thyme sprigs, leaves removed

1 small persimmon, peeled and diced (ideally this is on the softer side as it gets mixed into the dressing)


Salad:

5 oz red butter lettuces (1 small clamshell)

1 persimmon, sliced into rings

⅓ cup cranberries

1 tablespoon chives

1/2 cup spiced pecans

⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese


Instructions:

  1. Peel and finely dice 1 small persimmon (~½ cup)

  2. In a small bowl, add diced persimmon, olive oil, sherry vinegar, shallot, dijon, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage into a bowl. Use the back of a fork to press the persimmon slightly. Whisk until combined

  3. Toss dressing with butter lettuce (depending on how dressed you like it, you will probably only need ~half the dressing recipe).

  4. Place dressed red butter lettuces and sliced persimmons onto a plate

  5. Top with chives, spiced pecans, and crumbled goat cheese


Entertainer’s Note: This salad makes a great entree for a luncheon if served with grilled chicken or steak.