SALAD OF FENNEL, PEARS, PERSIMMONS AND TOASTED PECANS WITH A FIG VINAIGRETTE

Cooking concept with vegetables and copy space in the middle on wooden background

This is a great salad for the winter months which takes advantage of seasonal ingredients.  To make it more of a substantial course, drape some paper thin slices of proscuitto or coppa around the plate.

Serves 6

3 cups mixed savory greens such as arugula, watercress, tat tsoi, endive and/or radicchio

2 firm fuyu persimmons, sliced thinly into rounds

2 ripe pears, sliced in wedges

1 medium bulb fresh fennel, sliced thinly

Fig Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

1/2 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted

Arrange greens, persimmins, pears and fennel attractively on plates, drizzle some fig vinaigrette over all and top with pecan halves.

Fig Vinaigrette

Yield:  Approximately 1 1/4 cups

1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried figs

1 1/2 cups apple juice or cider

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried)

1  tablespoon minced shalllots

4 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine dried figs and apple juice in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 6-8 minutes or until liquid is reduced by 1/3.

Pour fig mixture into a blender and puree.  Pour into a mixing bowl.  Whisk all other ingredients and season with salt and pepper.  Store refrigerated up to 5 days.

John Ash © 1998