Wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could have a dinner party with a group of friends who are eager to bring some tasty, homemade, and plant-based fare? With everything covered from appetizers to desserts, you could enjoy dining from one course to the next, only stopping occasionally to dab your mouth with a cloth napkin or to take a sip of cucumber water. Well, you’re in luck! Today’s post is part of the second annual Virtual Vegan Potluck, a blog circle connecting other bloggers who are eager to bring a course to this online party, which just so happens to fall on World Vegan Day! I hope you’ve brought your appetite! (If you get lost along the way because of broken links, or you’d just like to see a list of everyone participating, head over to Vegan Bloggers Unite.)
While spring & summer are the produce darlings with their tender asparagus and sumptuous berries, fall has a few tricks up its crunchy yellow sleeves. There are two delights that are known to bring a bit of glee to my face and orange to my shopping cart – delicata squash and persimmons.
I’ve talked about delicata squash on my blog a number of times. (The Smoky Black Bean & Delicata Squash Tacos are a particular favorite!) It’s the easygoing member of the squash family. There’s no need to peel. It doesn’t require any strength training regimen to cut through it. It’s happiest with a drizzle of oil and simple roasting on a parchment covered baking sheet. The reward is a delicately sweet squash that is wonderful as a side, in tofu scrambles, or as you’ll see today, in salads.
My other favorite gift of fall is the fuyu persimmon. This squat, tomato-shaped persimmon is not to be confused with its feistier sister, the heart-shaped hachiya persimmon. (That one is a prankster. Eat it before it’s ripe and be prepared to taste something akin to a mouthful of chalk.) The fuyu has a mild sweetness about it that tastes somewhere between a pear and a peach. It’s moist without being overly juicy. It can be eaten while still firm or when it has gotten softer and more ripe. Eat it in hand like an apple, or cut it into slices and be rewarded with a pattern that is reminiscent of a sand dollar.
Today’s salad brings together delicata squash and persimmons with tender, sticky sweet caramelized onions. Drizzle it with Orange Muscat Champagne Vinaigrette and sit a while in the sweetness of fall.
To continue on with more potluck deliciousness…
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