Did I mention that my new favorite ingredient is Labneh? The thick kefir based strained tangy yogurt (some say soft cheese) that is mega delicious and packed with bazillions of probiotics? If you’re a Ranch dressing lover but want a healthy easy alternative, you will love this recipe. I serve this Fuyu persimmon & Little Gem salad with avocado in our Oakland restaurant but, it’s pretty with pomegranate too – it’s my top selling salad at present!
By the way, you’ve got about 1 to 2 more weeks of Fuyu’s and then they’re gone…
I prefer to add fresh garlic to the dressing as opposed to powdered which is in most Ranch dressing spice packets (along with about 100 miscellaneous ingredients), but I don’t like it to dominate the flavor in something as light as a salad. Powdered garlic always leaves a lingering aftertaste that I can’t seem to get rid of no matter what I do.
A trick I learned when adding garlic raw to recipes: remove the little tiny germ that’s inside of the clove. This part contains most of that garlicky chemical that upsets the stomach. Chop the garlic with a chef’s knife on a cutting board, then pour a teaspoon or two of kosher salt over it. Using a back and forth motion with the blade of the knife, mash the garlic with the salt into a fine purée. The salt helps to draw out the juice and break down the flesh of the garlic clove into a nice pulp that is easily added to sauces or dressings. I also think the salt cures the sharpness of the garlic flavor, but that could just be hearsay.
Toss the Little Gem Leaves with the dressing or just pour it over top –it’s up to you. Garnish with pomegrante or avocado or both! A sprinkle of chives and a twist of fresh cracked black pepper overtop is a must “out the gate”.
Some more fun and tasty Fuyu Persimmon Recipes from my website and others:
- 2 heads Litte Gem Lettuces, cleaned
- 1 Fuyu Persimmon, sliced
- 1 avocado cubed
- 1/2 bunch chives, brunoised
- Kefir Ranch Dressing (Makes extra, you can store for two weeks)
- 3 cups Labneh Cheese made with Kefir
- (If you sub Greek Yogurt for the Labneh add 1/4 cup buttermilk for tanginess)
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced finely
- 2 tablespoons fresh or dried dill!
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced (do NOT use dry thyme it will taste like dirt in this recipe)
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed and minced (Use the blade of a knife to smash this with salt and it turns in a juicy paste)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 pinches paprika!
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper!
- Dash of Tabasco
- A little water if necessary to thin the Labneh
For the Kefir Ranch Dressing: mix all of the ingredients together. Taste, adjust seasoning with salt and thickness with a little water if desired. Labneh can be quite thick and sometimes the vinegar doesn't thin it enough.
Use 1 Little Gem lettuce head per person. Either toss the whole leaves with the dressing or arrange on a plate and generously pour the dressing overtop. Garnish with Fuyu Persimmon Slices, avocado and pomegrante if desired. Add a sprinkle of chives and a twist of freshly cracked black pepper before serving.
Note: I buy Labneh for my restaurants from a Persian company and it is cultured with Kefir and very thick because it is strained. It has the consistency of Greek Yogurt. Regular Kefir will be much thinner. This is fine to use too or Greek Yogurt mixed with something a little tangy and zippy like buttermilk or sour cream.