The chef - who has cooked on Good Morning America and The Drew Barrymore Show - highlighted the salad recipe below as one of his top Thanksgiving recipes that he incorporates into his own family meal.
He wrote in his new cookbook of the recipe: "What tends to keep people from loving persimmons as much as I do is realizing there are two types, and they're each suited for different types of preparations. Most people know about Hachiya persimmons because they’re what are used for things like pudding and baking.
"These are the oblong guys that need to ripen until they're almost liquefied before they'll work for you because that’s when their tannins—astringent, bitter compounds—start to dissipate. If you've ever taken a bite of an unripe Hachiya, you know that it's like eating chalk.
Preppy Kitchen cookbook, from $19.95 Hardcover, Amazon
"Fuyus, on the other hand, are the shorter, more squat-looking versions of the fruit, and they’re meant to be crunchy like an apple but still have that signature persimmon custardy flavor. That’s what we’re going for here.
"Their flavor pairs really well with fresh, subtle fennel and some bacon for a salty, savory crunch. I prefer duck bacon, which has a more restrained flavor than pork, but if you can’t find it at your market or online, feel free to use any bacon of your choice— or leave it out for a salad that is still wonderfully delicious."
A starter for Thanksgiving below...
Copyright: 2022, John Kanell. Photography 2022 By David Malosh.
Reproduced by permission of Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.
- Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 2 strips duck or thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved, cored, and thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
- 3 firm but ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, halved through the stem end, and thinly sliced 2 ounces (60g) aged Manchego cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
TIPS & TRICKS:
Regular lemons can be used in place of Meyer lemons if they are unavailable. Make sure you use the Fuyu variety and not Hachiya or honey persimmons
In a large bowl, combine the Meyer lemon juice and shallots and set aside. (This will soften the shallots’ bite.)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon pieces are crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside to cool.
In the bowl with the lemon juice and shallots, whisk in the honey and salt. Slowly add the olive oil and continue whisking until the dressing is emulsified and smooth.
Add the sliced fennel and persimmons to the dressing and toss very gently to coat. Transfer the salad to a large serving plate and use a vegetable peeler to shave large strips of the Manchego over the salad. Scatter the cooked bacon on top and finish with freshly ground black pepper and the reserved fennel fronds.
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