I have to confess something. Christmas is my all-time favorite holiday. I start looking forward the atmosphere and decorations (and the music) in something like May. However, Thanksgiving takes a very close second. I love seeing the incredible variety of dishes and hearing about everyone's traditional family meals. The sides alone are enough to make someone want to gorge themselves just so they can taste everything. The only issue I find with this load of deliciousness is that most of it is heavy - cream based, bread filled, oil slathered, deep fried - and I often find myself looking for something fresh and light to help balance everything out. Thus, I bring you a nice addition to your meal of thanks.
If you're unfamiliar with the persimmon, don't shy away from this recipe. Persimmons tend to land on fall/winter's B-list of fruits and it's time we push them out into the limelight, where they belong. There are few varieties to choose from, but start your persimmon eating journey with the fuyu. If you can, buy them from a local farm or a market that sources locally; they will likely be sweeter and have more flavor than what you'll find at a grocery chain. NPR's got a nice little write up about them if you want to learn more.
Now a note about goat cheese. You may read through this and wonder 1 - why it's whipped and 2 - why it's spread on a plate under the salad. Well, if you ask two questions, you'll get two answers. 1 - whipping it changes the consistency to a delectably creamy texture that spreads easily. 2 - spreading it under the salad allows the dressing to mix with the cheese as you're eating, and assures that you don't get overpowering amounts of goat cheese in any single bite. There's also a couple of tips on how you can adapt the recipe to use in different ways. Also, be sure to use a good goat cheese for this. Trust me, it's worth the extra few pennies.