This delicious combination of crunchy Fuyu persimmons and little gem lettuce combined with creamy avocado and green goddess dressing is also known as “Favorite Fall Salad.” My husband and I first tasted it last autumn in one of our favorite restaurants in the wine country–The Farmstead in Saint Helena, Calif. My husband promptly declared it to be his favorite salad ever, although a word about my husband, he tends to use superlatives, such as “best,” “greatest” and “favorite” as though he knows no subtler forms of expression. I’ve tried to replicate the salad several times, but I finally got it–at least I made a version I think tastes as good if not better than what I remember from that lunch a year ago.
In addition to the great combination of crunchy and creamy, this salad brightens a table with it’s virbrant green and orange colors. It compliments nearly any main dish, especially grilled or roasted meats. The green goddess dressing is my own version. A lot of other recipes for this dressing call for sourcream, but I think buttermilk makes a nicer, lighter version.
Ingredients to serve 4
2 bunches little gem lettuces
1-2 Fuyu persimmons, cored and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Green goddess dressing
2-4 anchovies (from jar or can)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or mayo substitute)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh tarragon, chopped
3 tbsp fresh chives, chopped crosswise
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until evenly incorporated. (Note: I like mine well-blended so there aren’t big bits of parsley, but blend to your liking.)
Tear the lettuce leaves into bite-size pieces in a large bowl. Add in the sliced persimmon and avocado. Toss with several spoonfuls of the dressing, taste and add more dressing if necessary until all the lettuce pieces are coated. Serve immediately.
Save any leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.