Today I have prepared for you a beloved salad that easily stands up for a festive table; persimmon salad with spicy chickpeas and Grana Padano DOP, that delicious Italian cheese that I have used before, in the savory cookies with herbs recipe.
Seasonality & Persimmon Salad
Those of you who have been following my recipes for a long time will have seen that I follow seasonality as much as I can. I do this not only in the recipes I prepare for you, but also in my daily diet. For me, it is very important to choose fruits, vegetables, but also fish in their season, within their natural life cycle. They are definitely tastier, healthier, cheaper and have a better flavor and taste.
With this logic I prepared this salad which contains mixed green salad, persimmons, pomegranate, basil, while its dressing is also based on pomegranate, and it is completed by the addition of Grana Padano DOP, with its wonderful rich taste. Its crunchy element is covered by spicy roasted chickpeas, roasted with various spices and grated Grana Padano DOP.
A few words about Grana Padano DOP
Grana Padano DOP was created almost 900 years ago by the Cistercian monks of the monastery of Chiaravalle, near Milan. It is a hard cheese, slow maturing, semi-fat, with a protected designation of origin and a shelf life of up to 2 years. The milk used in its preparation comes only from the valley of the river Po, and enters the production process at the time it is collected from the stables of the partners. Approximately 150 million liters of milk are utilized per year from this particular area, which ensures the freshness of the raw material.
The name is a combination of the Italian word grana (formaggio, cheese), denoting a cheese with a characteristic grainy texture, and the epithet Padano, that is, coming from the valley of the Po (Po). The PLAC cheese factory is one of the most important producers of Grana Padano. It was created in 1933 in the heart of the Po Valley, in Northern Italy, while in 2018 PLAC was renewed with its new brand Fattorie Cremona.
The nutritional value of Grana Padano
Grana Padano DOP is a cheese with excellent nutritional properties, flexible to a variety of nutritional needs. It contains proteins of high biological value in high concentration, respectively nutritious with milk, but in concentrated form. In addition, frequent consumption of Grana Padano DOP increases the daily intake of minerals, a vital part of a balanced diet. It is an important source of vitamins A, B2, B12, while it is completely free of carbohydrates and lactose due to the long aging period, so it is extremely digestible, ideal for people suffering from lactose intolerance.
The advantages of Grana Padano DOP are numerous, apart its unquestionable taste. It is a “versatile” cheese, a cheese that can be used in a thousand and two recipes, with a definite success! The distinctive logo, the unique taste and the techniques, preserved for centuries, constitute the rich history, the culture behind Grana Padano.
In today’s recipe I chose to use Grana Padano DOP cut in cubes. However, you can use it grated, or in peels.
We have talked about persimmons before and you can find more information here and here. Don’t scorn them! It is one of the tastiest fruits, in my opinion, and very nutritious. In this salad, I used fuyu persimmons, which has a firmer flesh, stands better and can be cut into slices.
Persimmon & Spicy Chickpea Green Salad with Grana Padano DOP
A delicious, colorful salad that suits perfectly on a festive table. It is a great light meal, as well.
- spicy roasted chickpeas with Grana Padano DOP:
- • 240g cooked chickpeas*
- • 1 tablespoon olive oil
- • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- • 2 spoonfuls of grated Grana Padano DOP
- • a bit of salt, pepper
- salad with persimmons:
- • 4 cups mixed green salad, coarsely chopped
- • a few rocket leaves
- • 180g Grana Padano DOP , diced
- • 2 fuyu persimmons thinly sliced
- • ½ cup pomegranate kernels
- • 2-3 tablespoons capers
- • 5-6 basil leaves
- • 3 tablespoons of pomegranate juice
- • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- • salt, pepper
First prepare the spicy roasted chickpeas, mixing the chickpeas with all the other ingredients in a bowl. Spread them on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and bake them in a preheated oven, at 160 C, for about 25 minutes. Let them cool.**
Make the dressing by mixing well all the ingredients in a jar with a lid, or a bowl.
Prepare the salad by mixing the green vegetables, arugula, persimmons, pomegranate and basil in a large bowl or a large plate. Add the cubed Grana Padano DOP and the spicy chickpeas. Drizzle with the dressing at the last moment before serving.
*You can buy canned or precooked chickpeas. ** You can prepare the chickpeas the day before.