My favorite fall salad…

IMG_2003I look forward to fall for many reasons – the leaves changing colors, the crowds disappearing, and Fuyu’s!I discovered Fuyu persimmons a few years ago and fell head over heals for them.

Fall is for Fuyus!

Fall is for Fuyus!

Fuyu’s are not at all like the other persimmons, you eat them when they are firm and a little crisp, not mushy. And if you cut them thru the middle, they reveal a gorgeous star pattern.

Here’s my “Three P’s Salad” recipe – persimmon, pomegranate & pecans – a light, healthy, anti oxidant-packed addition to the Thanksgiving spread!IMG_3015

Citrus Dressing: Mix olive oil; lemon or lime juice, and/or vinegar; a teaspoon of Dijon mustard; and pomegranate, tangerine or orange juice (to balance the acid with some sweet). Make it as sweet or as tart as you like.

Use one, or a mixture of several – baby kale, European salad mix, spinach, and I love to include arugula. There is a new Earthbound Farms baby kale and asian greens mix called “Zen” that I like.

Toss greens with dressing, add slices of one persimmon, or two. Add 1 cup of pomegranate seeds, preferably fresh (I have not found the frozen ones to be very good). Add 1/2 cup of pine nuts, or pecans. Distribute to plates, and crumble goat or feta cheese over the top.


The secret to creamy white bean soup!

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Once again, I don’t really use recipes, but here are the basics, and my special tip!

You can use any white beans, I prefer dried navy beans – they are slightly larger than some of the other white beans. (You can also use canned beans)

Cook the dried beans in water with a couple of bay leaves and some Italian seasoning, (NO SALT), for a couple of hours, until soft but not falling apart or mushy.

Dice one of each : onion, fennel bulb, carrot, 1 bunch of kale, 2+ garlic cloves, and anything else that sounds good to you.  Also chop, or buy already chopped, Pancetta, or you can use bacon, or ham.

Saute onion on low to med heat (never on high!) for a couple minutes, add the pancetta and let it cook a bit, then add the rest of the veggies as you finish chopping them, kale last.  Enjoy the aroma!

When beans are almost done, about 1.5 – 2 hours, (at altitude, you may need 2-3 hours!) ladle out 2-3 cups of beans and cooking liquid and puree in a blender, then add back into the pot. You can make the soup more creamy, or chunky, by the ratio of pureed to whole beans.

Now, Time for my Secret ingredient!

To the pot of beans, add the leftover rind from a chunk of Parmesan cheese. Boil the beans and rind for about 20 minutes, until the soup is looking thick and creamy.  Remove the rind, and I like to scrape off as much of the melted cheese as possible and add it back into the beans.

Now add in the sauteed veggies, pancetta, and some black pepper. Unless you like a lot of salt, you will not need to add any, the pancetta and parmesan give it plenty of flavor, and saltiness.

Enjoy with a Chianti!

Enjoy with a Chianti!