Tom Fundaro, the chef at Villa Creek in Paso Robles, California, looks forward to fall just so he can eat Fuyu persimmons as sweet as sugar. Fundaro features them in this satisfying and nicely bitter fall salad.
How to Make the Ultimate Umami-Bomb Vegetarian Demi-Glace
1 1/2 pounds rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons sweet white wine
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme
3 Fuyu persimmons, cut into 1-inch dice
One 3-ounce head of frisée, torn
2 Belgian endives, cored and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 375°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the rutabagas, parsnips, turnips and carrots with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread in an even layer and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until just tender. Let cool.
In a small skillet, heat the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until starting to brown, 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Stir in the wine, vinegar and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the roasted vegetables, persimmons, frisée and endives to the dressing and toss well. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve.