Persimmon couscous salad

A few years ago I discovered the persimmon. I absolutely loved the sweet taste and the juicy texture. And it’s quite a pretty fruit too! I didn’t really know how to proceed the first time I ate it, so I cut of a slice to taste. It was all good, so I cut the entire fruit in slices and ate it with a fork. Feels so much satisfying eating it that way. And the next time I bought persimmons, I did the same thing, and now this has been standard procedure every time they appear in the shops this time of year. I started to think there must be other ways to use this fruit, but I didn’t want to incorporate it completely into something to the point where you really can’t taste it. The persimmon season is just too short. But, then I came across this salad at Tastespotting, and it was just what I was looking for. A way to use the fruit without cooking it. I guess I should have been able to think of something like this myself, but my mind is occupied with physics. That’s my excuse. It was every bit as delicious as it looked. I replaced the parsley with coriander and whole wheat couscous with regular. Just because that’s what I had. The recipe is adapted from kalynskitchen .

3/4 cup couscous (could use quinoa for a gluten-free version)
1 cup chicken stock (or vegetarian stock)
2 tsp. olive oil + 1 T olive oil for dressing
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and diced into pieces about 1/2 inch square
1 cup purple seedless grapes, washed and sliced into round pieces
1/3 cup sliced green onion, mostly green parts
1/3 cup finely chopped mint (or use parsley or cilantro)
1 tsp. lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
1 T fresh lemon juice
pinch of ground cumin
salt to taste for seasoning couscous
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (or use chopped pecans or slivered almonds)

Bring chicken stock and olive oil to the boil, add the couscous and cover with a lid. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove lid, stir the couscous and allow to cool.

Slice the persimmons in half, and chop into smaller pieces. If using big grapes like I did, wash them and cut in halves. Normally I wouldn’t bother, but I had giant grapes. Thinly slice the spring onions and finely chop the coriander. (Parsley/mint)

Combine all the greens in a big bowl. Whisk together olive oil, lemon zest and juice and cumin. Pour over the couscous, stir to distribute and taste to see if it needs salt.

Add the couscous to the persimmon-grape mixture and gently combine. Heat up a pan and toast the pine nuts until they start turning golden. Remove from heat, and sprinkle the pine nuts over the salad.

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