Crisp persimmons bring a crunch to this salad as crumbled goat cheese contrasts with its creamy rich texture. The earthiness of roasted beets is complimented by a hazelnut vinaigrette served on a bed of tender baby spinach. This recipe comes to us from Kristina of FormerChef.com.
For the Persimmon Beet Spinach Salad:
- 8 ounces baby spinach, cleaned
- 1 ripe, but firm, Fuyu persimmon
- 8 ounces fresh whole beets
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled*
For the Hazelnut Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 shallot, sliced
- 3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ounce champagne or white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
To prepare the vegetables and nuts:
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the beets together in a foil package and place the package in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until the beets are tender. Leave the oven on. Don’t cut until beets have cooled or they will bleed.
Place the hazelnuts in an even layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven after the beets are finished. Toast for 15-20 minutes, or until the hazelnuts begin to brown and become fragrant. Set aside to cool on a dishtowel. When the nuts have cooled, rub them with the dish towel rapidly to remove their skins. Repeat until the hazelnuts are mostly without skins, but a little remaining skin is fine. Chop the skinned hazelnuts.
When the beets have cooled cut off the stem end and peel with your hands, wearing latex gloves to coloration of hands if desired. Cut the beets in half, then slice into half rounds.
To prepare the Hazelnut Vinaigrette:
Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, shallots and hazelnuts together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To complete the Persimmon Beet Spinach Salad:
Cut the stem off the persimmon and cut the persimmon in half. Slice into half rounds.
Put the spinach in a large bowl. Add the beets, persimmons, goat cheese and toss with half of the vinaigrette. Add more dressing if desired, divide into 6 portions and enjoy.