This striking autumnal salad can also be made with watercress, or a mix of rocket and watercress, or with rocket and cos lettuce.
Olive oil 2 Tbsp pine nuts Flaky sea salt 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper 1-2 non-astringent firm persimmon (see notes) 150g (5-6 oz) rocket (arugula) ¼ cup mint leaves 100g (about 3 oz) creamy-style feta Optional: handful of pomegranate seeds
1 Heat a few drops of olive oil in a small frying pan (skillet) over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring often, until pale golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
2 Whisk extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of flaky sea salt (or less if using table salt), and black pepper together.
3 Peel persimmons and slice into slimish wedges. Transfer to a bowl and top with rocket. Pour over dressing and toss. If mint leaves are large, tear them into smaller pieces. Scatter feta, pine nuts and mint over salad and toss again. If adding pomegranate seeds, top salad with them. Serve immediately.
The persimmons sold in supermarkets around New Zealand now are the firm non-astringent variety that you eat like a crisp apple. Astringent persimmons are the old-fashioned variety to be found in home gardens. They would make your mouth pucker (make your tongue furry, etc,) if you tried to eat them while still firm and were left to ripen until the flesh turned into a gorgeous soft jelly. They are simply delicious and worth seeking out. The non-astringent varieties are ready to eat when they turn a striking deep orange colour. It’s important to use them before they soften.