One Thanksgiving, Janet was asked to bring a fruit salad. With fall fruit, that can be a challenge. So we put our heads together and helped her come up with this Asian pear and persimmon salad with pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, and spiced pecans. It takes fruit salad in a savory direction that goes especially well with the flavors of an autumn meal. And you don’t even have to make a dressing, because when you toss everything together, the coating on the pecans starts to dissolve into the oil and lemon juice and that does the job for you.
To make the spiced pecans: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a quarter sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the pecans on the prepared pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cumin, cayenne, paprika, coriander, and salt. When the pecans are ready, immediately add them to the spice mixture along with the vinegar and toss to coat evenly. Return the pecans to the sheet pan and toast for 5 minutes longer, until fragrant and candied. Pour onto a plate to cool.
To prepare the fruit: Cut the persimmons and pears into 12 wedges each, trimming away the cores.
To assemble and serve: In a large, shallow serving bowl, combine the persimmons, pears, pomegranate seeds, cranberries, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, endive, mint, sel gris, and the cooled pecans. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
SERVES 4 TO 6