Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad (a collaboration!)

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Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

One of the funny things about meeting up with other bloggers in real life is that even though you’ve technically never met, it often already feels as though you know them!

Such was the case when I finally met Sofia (of From the Land we Live on) a couple of months ago. Months before, I’d gotten hooked on her chocolate buckwheat pear pie, but kept going back for her granola, spring pickles, and out of sheer respect for her gardening skills — so much of what she cooks comes from her own back yard! I also love the photos she takes; her work is always bursting with colour, and gives me the inspiration I need to not just eat cake for breakfast every day.

Recently, we had the chance to work together to bring you a couple of bright, delicious recipes for the dreariest days of winter. Sofia had the idea to make it an ingredient-based challenge, so I had to come up with something that incorporated beets, persimmons, and lemon. I decided to do a winter salad, with some halloumi, pistachios, and a sumac and garlic infused dressing to kick things up a notch. I gave Sofia pears, carrots, and pomegranate, and she transformed them into the gorgeous spiced carrot and pear soup you see pictured above.

It was so much fun to work together! Much like my collaboration with Julia a few months ago, it was really nice to be able to talk to someone about this fun, bizarre little food world we’re all creating. One of my favourite shots above is Sofia scooping out some of our first attempts at creating a lovely soup swirl. As you can see, it turned out quite nicely in the end! But it took us several times to get it right, the two of us laughing about the absurdity of it all, yet nevertheless determined to persist until it was perfect!

The best part, though, was being able to enjoy all of our hard work for lunch once the shoot was over. We’d kept our recipes a secret from each other, so it was pure coincidence that they happened to pair so nicely together! I think they’d made a terrific brunch pairing if you’re having people over this season. They’re like bowls of sunshine on the table.

If you’d like to see more shots of this lovely salad (as well as a couple of me in action!), and the recipe for the absolutely fantastic soup pictured above, pay Sofia’s blog a visit!

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad

Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad (a collaboration!)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 gigantic salad.

A fresh, flavourful salad making use of winter produce.


    For the dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • For the salad:
  • 4 small beets
  • 4 ripe persimmons (Fuyu work best, but the Vanilla ones would work too)
  • 1 pkg halloumi cheese (usually ~250g)
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley or cilantro, minced
  • 1 large handful toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • Large bowlful of mixed greens of your choosing (arugula is particularly nice)


    For the dressing
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar and allow to marinate for 15 minutes; remove and discard the garlic clove after that, and shake thoroughly before serving.
  2. For the salad
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F and set the beets in an 8x8" pan, covered completely in aluminum foil. Roast for 45 mins - 1 hour, or until a knife easily pierces the beets. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before peeling. Slice into bite-sized wedges and set aside.
  4. While the beets are roasting, fry the halloumi on medium-high heat, until it has a lovely brown sear on both sides and smells incredible. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-size cubes.
  5. Now is also a great time to slice your persimmons into thin rounds (and then quarter or halve those depending on their size), give your herbs a rough tear, and to chop your pistachios.
  6. When all the ingredients are ready, set the greens and fresh herbs in a large salad bowl. Pour over a couple tablespoons of the dressing, and toss until everything is coated (add more dressing as needed). Top with beets, persimmons, halloumi, and pistachios. Serve immediately.



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16 Responses to “Persimmon, beet, and halloumi winter salad (a collaboration!)”

  1. Tiffany January 31, 2016 at 5:39 PM #

    This salad looks absolutely beautiful and has flavours I love. I have to say, though, persimmon isn’t an easy sell for me. I’ve tried it and it was too tannic for me, even when I waited it for it to look nearly rotten as I was told to do. The variety you’re using here is different and I’m hopeful this will make see the potential of persimmon.

    • toughcookie January 31, 2016 at 9:10 PM #

      Tiffany, you’re absolutely right! Though it’s usually the hachiya variety that has that problem (MAJOR puckering if they’re not ultra-ripe), but the fuyus can be eaten when they’re still quite firm! Hope that helps in any future persimmon adventures. 🙂

  2. Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls January 29, 2016 at 3:04 PM #

    This looks so warming and tasty, Alanna! What a great collaboration! You’ve taken spectacular photos as per usual, and that dressing sounds absolutely drool-worthy. Thanks so much for sharing yours and Sophia’s experience and recipes!

    • toughcookie January 31, 2016 at 9:09 PM #

      Aww, I’m blushing, Amanda! Thank you!

  3. Bernice January 29, 2016 at 2:54 PM #

    Wonderful salad Alanna! It looks so bright and summery…scheduled to tweet and pinned 🙂

    • toughcookie January 31, 2016 at 9:08 PM #

      Thanks for the kind words, Bernice!

  4. Sean January 29, 2016 at 2:35 PM #

    Gooooooorgeous. Just spectacular. And you used persimmons! I love persimmons! There’s a big Asian population where I am so persimmons are always out in huge numbers, but I feel like too many people don’t how to use them. It’s a shame really, because they’re spectacular. I bet they were amazing with the beets!

    Oh, and I loved the working-blogger shots – it’s nice to see that I’m not the only one standing on chairs to shoot my food!

    • toughcookie January 31, 2016 at 9:08 PM #

      Sean, it was really tough for me to find the right ones! The Hachiya kind are widely available here, and although I love those in cakes or oatmeal (or just scooped out on a spoon!), the Fuyus are way better for salads. You’re lucky you can find them where you are!

  5. Lily @GastroSenses January 29, 2016 at 1:13 PM #

    I love this! The photos are so alive and beautiful! Great choice of ingredients and recipe ideas! And the puppy awww

    • toughcookie January 31, 2016 at 9:06 PM #

      Haha, right?! Benji’s got great taste. Thanks for stopping by, Lily!

  6. Justine @ January 29, 2016 at 1:08 PM #

    What a fun collaboration! It’s so interesting to see it from both sides, too! Beautiful work, ladies. I absolutely love both recipes, and the beautiful photos. 🙂

    • toughcookie January 31, 2016 at 9:05 PM #

      Thanks so much, Justine. It was really fun to work together! I think I’m going to keep trying out collaborations this year. It’s a lot more fun with two sets of hands!

  7. Julia (@Imagelicious) January 29, 2016 at 9:50 AM #

    Wow – what an awesome collaboration. I knew that this was happening as I talked to Sofia, so I was eagerly awaiting the results. Oh, boy, the colours are brilliant, the flavours are delectable and it’s so fun to read about the collaboration too, Alanna! I’m glad you got to do that and I am also glad I got to do it with you too earlier 🙂 Now, heading to Sofia’s blog to check out her post 🙂

    • toughcookie January 31, 2016 at 9:04 PM #

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the photos, Julia. That means a lot coming from you! <3

  8. Sofia | From the Land we Live on January 29, 2016 at 9:16 AM #

    Yayyy! Love the photographs and seeing your take on the collaboration 🙂 Thanks so much for doing this with me, it was so fun and delicious and I’m still thinking about that dressing! I’ll definitely be stealing the smashed garlic idea. xo

    • toughcookie January 31, 2016 at 9:04 PM #

      That garlic really did work wonders, didn’t it?! I had so much fun working on this with you, Sofia! And I love the writeup and photos on your site! xoxo