I didn’t plan this salad but when I unpacked my market basket, all of the ingredients were there, begging to be assembled.  It was the perfect antidote to a dark, grey, beginning-of-the darkest month of winter day.  And it just goes to show: brightness is where you least expect it.

Some tips before you make the salad:

*When removing leaves from Belgian endive, cut off the stem end to release them, little by little. You’ll end up with rounds of tender endive stem which, if you’re like me, you will pop into your mouth as you cook. Otherwise, add them to the salad.

*We get two varieties of persimmon in our markets, Hachiya and Cinnamon Persimmon. The Hachiya is best ripe, when its flesh turns to jello.  The Cinnamon persimmon can be eaten while it is still quite firm, which is the best way to use it in this salad.  When you slice it thin, the slices are gorgeously translucent.

*Small haas avocados are the best. They’re ripe when the tip gives slightly (like the tip of your nose does when you press on it).  Also, if you pop out the stem, the flesh it reveals should be pale green.

*Baby turnips don’t need peeling. Just give them a good scrub

*the rosemary is optional. For now, it is the only green herb in the garden, and so aromatic!

*Don’t toss this salad. Assemble it.


For the vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, sliced paper-thin
1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves — optional

For the salad:
3 medium Belgian endives, rinsed, trimmed, leaves separated
1 medium clementine, peeled, sections separated
1/2 medium persimmon, thinly sliced
1 medium avocado, cut in quarters and cut on the diagonal
6 baby turnips, trimmed, cut into thin rounds
Fleur de sel

  1.  In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and the vinegar. Whisk in the mustard, then the shallot.  When they are combined, whisk in the oil. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Mince the rosemary, and whisk it into the vinaigrette.
  3. Arrange all of the ingredients in a large, shallow plate.  Make sure all the colors are showing.  Drizzle with the vinaigrette, then sprinkle with fleur de sel.  Serve immediately.

Serves 2 to 4

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8 Responses to Belgian Endive, Persimmons, Avocado and More

  1. Will says:


    Looking for some advice. I am hosting a dinner next month. 6 people. Having bone-in ribeye, probably a potato gratin of some sort and some veggie, like green beans.

    Advice I need is for dessert. I want to serve as part of it a cheese platter along with a flourless chocolate cake. What kind of cheese would you suggest?



    • Susan says:

      Will, Sorry for the tardy reply…if you’re going to serve cheese, do so along with salad, after the main course and before dessert. I would suggest a fresh goat cheese, a slice of Brie or a Camembert, and Roquefort. You know that cheese is served after the meal to help digest and make room for dessert. I think these would be terrific choices for this most delicious meal!

      • Will says:

        Thank you, Susan! Perfect timing for your reply. I just spent the last hour doing research online trying to figure out when to serve the cheese!

        Course 1: Pea Soup with Homemade Croutons
        Course 2: Ribeye and Potato Gratin (will it be okay with nothing green?)
        Course 3: Salad and Cheese Platter
        Course 4: Homemade Flourless Chocolate Cake with Homemade Whipped Cream

        Wine: White to start (just some nuts out), switch to red after Course 1, Armagnac with the cake?

        My dinner party is on the 18th. The guests, from California, just sent the wine. Looks like $200/bottle stuff. Yikes! I usually spend $15.

        What kind of white should I buy? Champagne?



        • Susan says:

          Great menu. You don’t need a green vegetable with the main course, but you n eed a green herb for garnish. And yes to champagne or something sparkling from France. But it won’t go with the pea soup, so I’d suggest a Sauvignon Blanc. Good luck!!!

          • Will says:

            Thanks, Susan

            If this is somewhat of a repeat please forgive, first one didn’t seem to go through.

            Sauvignon Blanc it is! Plus some thyme sprigs around the meat.

            Thinking of adding a pre-Course 1.

            I roasted some jumbo Gulf Shrimp last Saturday. My god. Delicious! I made a cocktail sauce, fine for me, too hot for guests.

            I’m thinking of doing a big plate of roasted shrimp with a bowl of cocktail sauce for the table first. I don’t have the right glasses for individual shrimp cocktails and I already spent $385 for table stuff at Crate & Barrel for the dinner and don’t feel like spending any more. I call it a ‘Deconstructed Shrimp Cocktail’.

            Any chance you have a recipe for cocktail sauce?



          • Susan says:


            I think you’ve done the deed, but that’s allright because I don’t have a special recipe for cocktail sauce. I would say catsup, horseradish, tabasco and some celery seed would do the trick, though! Your shrimp sound glorious.

  2. Oooooh i love it when you throw things together, this salad looks fabulous. I can’t say that I have ever put turnips in a salad before, so it must be time.

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