Persimmon & Pomegranate Salad

When Chef Goin opened her Los Angeles restaurant Lucques in 1998, she immediately won several honors for her Mediterranean-tinged cuisine, including being named a "Best New Chef" by Food and Wine magazine.

Part of the reason Lucques remains so popular today is Chef Goin's Sunday suppers. She prepares a different family-style meal each week, highlighting the season's freshest ingredients.

She has now compiled some of these menus into a beautiful new book called, appropriately, "Sunday Suppers at Lucques."

And she visits The Saturday Early Show to take the Chef on a Shoestring challenge. With just $40, she prepares a three-course meal that includes Persimmon & Pomegranate Salad, Spiced Pork Stew with Polenta and Caramelized Chocolate Bread Pudding.

Food Facts

Persimmon: Mostly available from October to February, a persimmon is large and round with a slightly elongated, pointed base. Persimmon should be plump and soft, but not mushy and the skin should be smooth, glossy and brightly colored. They are a great source of vitamin A and some vitamin C. Persimmon can be used in baked goods, puddings and other deserts, as well as eaten out of hand.

Pomegranate: The pomegranate is a fruit about the size of an orange and has a thin, leathery skin that can range in color from red to pink-blushed yellow. Pomegranates can be eaten as fruit, used as a garnish on sweet and savory dishes or pressed to extract the juice. They're rich in potassium and contain a fair amount of vitamin C.

Chili de Arbol: It is a bright red, slender chile measuring less than 3 inches in length. It is extremely hot, so it must be handled properly during preparation. The oil in the arbol chile, as well as many other hot chiles, is extremely irritating to the eyes or any small cuts on the hands, so it may be a good idea to wear gloves while handling it.

Gremolata: A garnish made of minced parsley, lemon peel and garlic. It's sprinkled over dishes to add a fresh, sprightly flavor.

The following are her recipes:

Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts

2/3 cup blanched hazelnuts
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot; plus 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh pomegranate juice (from 1 to 2 pomegranates), plus 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 small Fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, for juicing
1/2 pound arugula
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they smell nutty and are lightly browned. When the nuts have cooled, chop them coarsely and toss them with 1 teaspoon oil and a generous pinch of salt.
  3. Place the diced shallot, pomegranate juice, both vinegars, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and let sit 5 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste for balance and seasoning.
  4. In a large salad bowl, toss the persimmons, sliced shallots and pomegranate seeds with the dressing and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Gently toss in the arugula and taste for seasoning. Arrange the salad on a platter and scatter the hazelnuts over the top.

Click on page 2 for Spiced Pork Stew with Polenta; page 3 for Roasted Root Vegetables with Gremolata and Polenta; and page 4 for Caramelized Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Cinnamon.