(Kalyn's Kitchen is part of Holiday 2009 at Oprah.com, and this is one of the recipes being featured there, and is also part of the Christmas Recipes on Kalyn's Kitchen. Welcome to anyone visiting from Oprah.com!)
During the holiday season when there are so many rich or extra-sweet offerings, sometimes a simple fruit salad can be just what you need to add a slightly more reasonable note to a holiday meal. The day I made this salad I tried it out on a few people at my brother Mark's house, where I'd gone to meet his mother-in-law who was visiting from New Mexico. Mrs. Garcia had made homemade tamales, something I had to sample even if they weren't especially South Beach Diet friendly, and the salad was definitely a hit as a side dish.
Inspiration for this recipe came from the persimmons I keep talking about that I got from Andrea, and a recipe for Fall Fruit Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison. I used the winter fruits I had on hand, and you could certainly use apples or figs in this if you had some. I would have used pomegranate arils if I'd had them, so let your imagination run wild if you make this. What I really loved here was the agave-sweetened dressing that blended with the flavors of the different fruits.
I only had a few grapes hanging out in the fridge (and grapes aren't especially a winter fruit, but they were good here.)
My goal was to cut the persimmons and pears into same sized pieces.
I made the pieces about an inch square, for a rather chunky-looking salad.
The dressing is a combination of olive oil, peanut oil, pomegranate vinegar, and agave, with a dash of salt. If I had pomegranate molasses, I might have used that to replace some of the agave.
Mix the fruit together, then gently toss with the agave-pomegranate vinaigrette.
As a final touch, just before serving toss the salad with some pecans that have been cut into slivers.
Winter Fruit Salad with Persimmons, Pears, Grapes, Pecans, and Agave-Pomegranate Vinaigrette
(Makes about 6 side-dish servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison.)
4 Fuyu persimmons, cut in 1 inch cubes (or enough cut persimmons to make 2 cups)
3 Bosch pears, cut in 1 inch cubes (or enough cut pears to make 2 cups)
1 cup grapes, cut into halves or fourths if large (I would have used more grapes if I'd had more)
(Other fruits such as apples, figs, or pomegranate arils could be used to replace any of these, but you need 5-6 cups of cut fruit)
3/4 cup pecans, cut into half lengthwise to make slivers
1 T extra virgin olive oil (use a fruity oil for this)
1 T peanut oil
1 T pomegranate-flavored vinegar (I used pomegranate-flavored red wine vinegar)
2 T agave nectar
(If you have pomegranate molasses I might use white balsamic vinegar and substitute pomegranate molasses for some or all of the agave nectar)
pinch of salt, to taste
Whisk together the dressing ingredients so flavors can blend while you cut the fruit.
Cut grapes, persimmons, and pears into same size pieces (about 1 inch size) and place in plastic bowl. Toss fruit with dressing. Just before serving, toss with pecan pieces.
South Beach Suggestions:
Fruit is a great choice for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. This salad has some added sweetness due to the agave in the dressing, so I'd be sure most of my other food choices were low-glycemic vegetables or proteins on the day you're eating this if you're actively trying to lose weight. This would taste great with Turkey Breast cooked in the crockpot, Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu, or Herb Encrusted Grilled Salmon.
More Fruit Salads with Persimmons:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Whole Wheat Couscous salad with Persimmon, Grapes, Green Onion, Mint, and Pine Nuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Black Bean Salad with Fuyu Persimmon, Avocado, and Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Persimmon Pomegranate Fruit Salad from Simply Recipes
Winter Fruit Salad from Desert Candy
City House Beet and Persimmon Salad from Cook Eat Fret
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)