It’s been busy around our house lately. Chasing after a toddler, running a business, juggling consulting clients, finding time to do the writing that lights me up, and feeding myself and my family well. Sometimes it feels like a miracle that dinner gets on the table each night.
It’s during times like these I turn to a few tried and true quick recipes. Actually, they typically aren’t recipes at all. More like songs I know by heart. A familiar mix of ingredients that come together while I’m doing a million other things. Among my most appreciated, steady-as-a-rock dishes, is this Cucumber Persimmon Salad.
It always starts with a few simple ingredients: rice wine vinegar, a bit of sugar or maple syrup, some kosher salt and a tumble of sliced, crisp Persian cucumbers. This time of year it has persimmons; other times of the year it may have some sliced mango, chunks of avocado, wedges of heirloom tomatoes, or thinly sliced fennel, Whatever the season and my refrigerator has to offer.
There’s something about the balance of acid, sugar and salt that always hits the spot. I love this salad alongside a hearty bowl of soup made from this broth, a swirl of miso and a pile of leftover roasted vegetables. It’s also delicious piled on top of grilled chicken or salmon.
After you’ve tossed the ingredients together, it’s time to consider optional additions. My favorites are thinly sliced jalapeño and a handful of torn mint. But take a look at the list in the recipe and choose for yourself. Or keep it simple. This Cucumber and Persimmon Salad will deliver either way.
Do yourself a favor: commit this recipe to memory. You will have many happy meals because of it.
- ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups thinly sliced Persian cucumber (about ¼-inch thick)
- 3 Fuyu persimmons peeled and sliced (about ¼-inch thick)
- a few drops of sesame or chili oil
- a sprinkle of white and/or black sesame seeds
- some thinly sliced jalapeño
- a bit of freshly grated ginger
- a dash of grated turmeric
- a handful of toasted pepitas
- a scattering of toasted coconut
- a pile of roughly chopped mint, cilantro and/or chives
- In a small pot, combine the vinegar, sugar or syrup, and salt. Heat over low heat, stirring often, until sugar and salt have dissolved. Combine the cucumbers and persimmon in a large bowl. Top the vegetable-fruit mixture with the dressing and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before serving. Add any optional additions just before serving.