Roasted Delicata Squash & Persimmon Salad

I’m taking a little break from the themed dinner parties today to take part in the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

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.

Roasted Delicata Squash & Persimmon Salad with Caramelized Onions

Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side

  • 1 small delicata squash, sliced into rings 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick, de-seed, remove top with stem & bottom
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 medium-sized yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • A drizzle of agave syrup
  • 1 persimmon (Fuyu), sliced thin
  • 3 cups green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 batch Orange Muscat Champagne Vinaigrette
  • Small handful of pistachios or peanuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss delicata squash rings with one teaspoon extra virgin olive oil.  Lay evenly across the baking sheet, taking care not to touch or overcrowd.  Roast squash for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the squash half-way through to evenly roast on both sides.  (The roasting time will vary, depending on the thickness of the squash.)

Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized skillet to a high medium heat.  Add the remaining teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet.  Drop the onion half moons into the pan, separating them into slices.  Saute the onions for ten minutes, only moving them with a spatula occasionally.  Once they have started to turn brown and crisp, turn the heat to low and continue cooking.  After 5-7 more minutes, when they are brown and softened, give a quick squeeze of agave syrup to the onions (about a teaspoon more or less).  Fully combine the agave with the onions, and remove from heat.

In a large salad bowl, toss the roasted delicata squash, persimmons, green leaf lettuce, and caramelized onions.  Top with a handful of pistachios or peanuts. Serve with Orange Muscat Champagne Vinaigrette to drizzle onto each individual portion.

To continue on with more potluck deliciousness…

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66 thoughts on “Roasted Delicata Squash & Persimmon Salad

  1. Cadry, what a beautiful salad! I adore persimmons and was only introduced to the lovely delicata squash through this MOFO! Woohoo! Happy World Vegan Day and VVP!!! xx

    • Thanks, Somer! Aren’t persimmons wonderful? While all of summer’s fruit is disappearing, I’m always so tickled when persimmons arrive. You’ll have to make up for lost time with the delicata squash! :D Happy World Vegan Day & VVP to you too!!

  2. This salad looks lovely! I love persimmons. (Though I’ve never tried slicing them thinly– I usually let them get so ripe that you can just eat them with a spoon… but now I’ll have to try slicing them into salads!)

    • Thanks, Allison! Yes, sometimes you can’t beat simply biting into plain fruit as-is! I always feel that way about figs. They’re my favorite fruit, but I rarely put them into any dishes because I just love to pop them right into my mouth from the fridge!

    • Yes, try it out, Jess! When they’re on the firmer side, they hold their shape well and add a touch of sweetness to the salad! :D

  3. Squash and Persimmons??? Two of my very favourite fall flavours. I need to give this a try. Thank you so much for the recipe. Also, thank you for the incredible series of posts you created for MoFo this year – I enjoyed reading along everyday.

    Happy World Vegan Day!

    • Aw, thank you, Lisa! I so enjoyed your posts too. Seeing what you write and create is always one of my favorite parts of MoFo!

    • Thanks so much! :)

      You’re in for a treat! I started eating persimmons about ten years ago, and now they’re something I look forward to with the arrival of fall!

    • Thank you, Becky! Once the cool temperatures arrive, I like to do a mixture of cold & hot ingredients in salad to make it more appealing on a chilly day! :)

  4. Beautiful salad, that dressing sounds incredible.
    I was debating about taking part in the potluck, but that was at the beginning of mofo, when I still was really ambitious about blogging, ha ha.
    I would love to try a persimmon, I see them on lots of blogs but we don’t get them up North. Could they be replaced with oranges?

    • I totally know the feeling! I was hesitant to join up too after the MoFo madness. But then Somer sweet talked me and I couldn’t refuse! ;)

      In this salad, I think it would be great with apples, pears, or oranges in place of persimmons.

    • Once you try delicata, you’ll be hooked! It’s so much less of a hassle than other squashes can be, and I think it tastes the best of all of them! :) I hope you enjoy the salad!!

  5. It’s almost like you said “I’m going to make a salad with 2 of Kristy’s favorite fall foods, and then drench it in awesomeness.” This looks amazing and I am so happy that delicata and persimmons are both beginning to frequent my CSA deliveries. I will definitely be trying this salad! :-)

    • I’ve been looking at ways to get more awesomeness into my diet, and this seemed like the way to go! ;) I hope you enjoy the salad!!

  6. I love delicata squash! I used to grow it in my garden, and everything you say about it is true. The perfect squash. I also used to buy TJ’s orange muscat vinegar all the time, and even have a salad dressing recipe on my blog somewhere. But I’d forgotten about it. Thanks for the recipe — and reminder.

  7. This salad looks so good! I have to say, I’m a little scared of persimmons. I tried one for the first time when it was not ripe at all, and like you said, mouthful of chalk. Now I’m to scared to ever try one! I guess I’m not sure how to tell when they’re ripe, I don’t want to experience that again!

    • I don’t blame you! I did the mouthful of chalk thing once too, and it was mighty unpleasant! :) If you get a fuyu persimmon, you don’t have to worry about its ripeness. It doesn’t have the astringency of the hachiya persimmon. The fuyu may be harder or softer, depending on your preference, and it will still taste good (just more or less crisp).

  8. what a lovely salad, cadry! i can’t believe it’s fall already- definitely time to enjoy this salad every night for dinner. i love the addition of persimmon, too ;)

    • Thanks, Caitlin! I can’t believe it’s fall either! Plus, this time of year between November and the end of the year always goes by in a flash. Hold onto your hat! :D

    • I’d describe the taste as a cross between a pear and a peach. It’s a lot more mild than a peach, but it’s not as mealy as a pear.

        • I hope you like it! Keep in mind like I said in the post that there are two different kinds of persimmons. One type has to be very, very ripe to eat it (hachiya), and the other type can be eaten at any stage of ripeness (fuyu). For that reason, and because I like a more crisp fruit, fuyu is my favorite. If you try it, let me know what you think! :)

    • If it’s anything like your delicata squash experience, you may just fall in love with them! Persimmons have a mild flavor, but somehow that only adds to their deliciousness since they aren’t too sweet.

  9. I just pinned this salad – it looks amazing!! I have to confess that I’ve never tried a persimmon but I’ve been meaning to and I definitely will now!! :) thanks!
    Kristin

    • Oh, excellent! Persimmons were such a delicious discovery for me. I hope they will be for you as well! I don’t know when they come into season in Washington, but in Los Angeles it didn’t happen until the fall. In the meantime, thinly sliced pear would work well in this salad as well.

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