On the eve of Thanksgiving, I’m sitting down to share this salad recipe with you before the madness of cooking Thanksgiving dinner ensues. I finally learned a few years ago to start cooking for Thanksgiving a day early. That made me so much more relaxed and (I’ll be honest) just nicer to be around on the actual holiday. You’d be cranky too if you had to make 8 side dishes in one day all by yourself!
With that said, if you have been tasked with being the person to bring a salad to your Thanksgiving potluck and you want to really impress your family and friends, well, I have the perfect salad for you! It has all the quintessential fall flavors that you didn’t know you wanted in a salad, at least I didn’t.
It all started because I have a persimmon tree in my backyard. We had quite a large harvest this year and I was trying to find all kinds of ways to eat this fruit. Come to find out, not many people know what a persimmon even tastes like. The kind that I have is called a Fuyu Persimmon. It has a firm but creamy bite with notes of cinnamon and clove. It is a warm sweet spice. I don’t think I’m doing it justice, but you must give it a try.
This bowl I’m using is my “go-to” salad bowl for serving lots of people. It is very wide, but a bit shallow. I like it because I am able to layer my greens and toppings. I actually have 4 layers in this salad. The bottom is mixed greens, then the fruit, nut, cheese layer and another layer of greens and fruit, nut, cheese on top. This way, every salad tong full will get an even amount of the tasty ingredients. Genius huh?
This fall salad has all the flavors and textures you want in a good salad. The greens are a little bitter. The pear is cold, sweet and crisp. The persimmon is creamy and sweet. The sliced almonds are nutty and crunchy. The crumbled feta is nice and salty. What more can you want?
Well, you’d want salad dressing, of course!
This is the maple balsamic dressing that ties this whole salad together. It is super easy to make and I bet you have all the ingredients in your home already. I suggest that you make this dressing in a mason jar or one of these lovely dressing bottles. It’s called the Pampered Chef Measure Mix Pour. I swear I’m not getting any money by mentioning this product, I just love it that much. It has a mixing whisk attachment that you want to emulsify the ingredients, because over time when the dressing sits, the olive oil will separate. I just set the bottle by my salad bowl and each person poured on what they wanted. I can’t believe that 6 simple ingredients can be so tasty! You can’t go wrong with maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and olive oil.
I hope this beautiful salad makes it to your Thanksgiving table. It not only tastes amazing, it’s beautiful too. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
Persimmon Pear Fall Salad
4 small or 2 medium persimmons, peeled and sliced thin
1 brown pear, sliced thin
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
16 oz. baby spring mix salad greens
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. maple syrup
Fresh ground black pepper
In your salad bowl, put down a first layer of salad greens. On top of that, arrange the fruit, almonds and feta cheese. Finish with another layer of greens, then fruit, almonds and feta again.
For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a mason jar or dressing bottle and shake until emulsified.