The East of the city of Perth is a hot spot and a destination for inspiring cooks and chefs. To me it is a basket of fruits, herbs, vegetables, vineyards and a variety of home produced products that are fresh, and well made. There are also lots of small towns worth visiting and if you are lucky enough you will see kangaroos in their natural enviroment.
Perth cuisine is as diverse as its inhabitants. It is a combination of Mediterranean, Southeast Asian and many other cultures using an array of products from the outskirts of the city.
I have been very lucky to be in Perth at this time of the year and finally I was able to visit a persimmon orchard. The one I visited was the Raeburn Orchard owned and operated by the Casotti family. This orchard produces many stone fruits as well as avocados, passion fruit and pomegranates. It is an orchard where you can walk around and spend as much time as you want and if you find the fruit pickers they are very welcoming and will answer any questions you ask about the crops.
Persimmon trees are in full bloom in May and June and this is the time they pick this beautiful fruit. There is also an Autumn feast for the eyes walking along the paths among the trees with their yellow and red leaves and long branches full of big and juicy persimmons.
I wanted to taste and savour the fruit freshly picked from the trees to get inspiration for my next recipe. I came back home with this recipe in my mind, a very simple persimmon salad. Persimmons in season are very sweet and crispy and they don’t need much to enhance them.
This is a truly delicious salad where the persimmons are the star of the dish!
- juice of one orange
- juice of half a lime
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 ripe persimmons, cut into thin wedges
- kosher salt
- 1 cup of young arugula
- 1 cup young spinach
- 4 tablespoons of pomegranates seeds
- 6 tablespoons, roasted and salted pepitas and sunflower seeds
Method for the Salad
- Combine the lime juice and orange juice in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes
- Place the persimmons in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the dressing and toss gently to coat them.
- Season the arugula and spinach with salt and pepper.
- Gently toss with the dressed persimmons.
- Divide the salad among 4 plates and top with pomegranate seeds, pepitas and sunflower seeds.
- The persimmons are the main ingredients in the salad. The arugula and spinach are more of a garnish rather than the other way around.