Edible Bozeman

Fuyu Persimmon, Shiso, and Baby Romaine


Crisp and honey sweet, Fuyu persimmons add a bright lift to snack boards and winter salads. Prepare by cutting a horizontal slice just below the leaves and peeling off the thin skin with a knife. Slice horizontally to expose the starburst inside.

Persimmons are lovely in winter salads. Make a vinaigrette with a wine vinegar like rosé or Champagne, a dab of Dijon mustard, lots of freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of salt, and olive or walnut oil. For the salad, bring together flavors and textures like toasted walnuts; shavings of dry, salty cheese like ricotta salata or Manchego; and, if you’re a fan of bitter, some leaves of escarole, radicchio, endive, or frisée—on their own or mixed with mild salad greens—all tossed with slices of persimmon.


Thanks to the ingenuity of local growers, unique fresh greens like shiso are available at our winter farmers market. Shannon Gaines of Crazyhead Produce grows hydroponically with vertical towers and wicking strips made from wool that move water and nutrients up to the roots of her baby plants. She started growing shiso at the request of a local caterer but turns out there’s plenty to sell at the market too.

You may have encountered shiso leaves the last time you went out for sushi as they are commonly used as an edible garnish or even fried crisp. The flavor is predominantly citrusy, but herbal and spicy too—reminiscent of anise. A member of the mint family, shiso is more herbal (like basil) than sweet (like mint), but don’t let that stop you at cocktail time. A mojito made with lime and shiso instead of mint is delicious. The leaves are also great with ginger ale.


Producers big and small are working to make delicate salad greens a local staple even in regions like ours, where serious winter halts outdoor growing for several months. Local Bounti is one such company that is committed to a 365-day growing season made possible with indoor farming facilities operated by teams like the one at the Montana location in Hamilton.
Reducing the number of miles food travels from grower to consumer makes for a more sustainable future, but it takes all of us to become successful. Check your food labels at the store and buy close to home when possible. You can shop locally through the winter by coming to the winter farmers market—you’ll be surprised by how much green you’ll see, even in January.

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