Persimmons are the perfect newcomer to the Thanksgiving table. Their subtle sweetness melds beautifully with the sharpness from the pickled shallots and creaminess of the cheese in this pretty fall-inspired salad. There are two major types of persimmon sold in the States: Fuyu, which are shaped like tomatoes and best eaten raw, and Hachiya, which have a more tapered shape and are better for baking. (We call for the Fuyu variety here.) If you can't find persimmons, dried apricots plumped in orange juice will stand in nicely.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until very golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool and very finely chop.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon honey and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl. Add the shallots and let sit at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until the shallots turn bright pink and are slightly pickled, about 10 minutes. Remove the shallots and set aside (discard the liquid).
Whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup vinegar, Dijon mustard, remaining 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, until the mixture is blended. Stir in the toasted pecans.
Combine the kale, pickled shallots, persimmons and Gorgonzola in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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