Just as we were starting to lament the dwindling abundance of summer stone fruits at the farmers' market, in marched a whole new array of fruits to inspire us. Asian pears, fresh dates, and pomegranates are some of early fall's jewels. We couldn't resist combining them in a fruit salad – a refreshing dessert on its own or over ice cream.
Each fruit delights the tongue: a crisp juicy pear, crunchy young dates with hints of honey, and pomegranate seeds that burst in the mouth, sweet at first and then tart. A dressing of pomegranate juice, honey, ginger, and cinnamon ties them together.
If you don't have access to fresh dates, you can omit them or substitute an apple.
De-seed the pomegranate* and place seeds in a large bowl.
Take 1/4 cup of the pomegranate seeds to make juice. Press the seeds through a strainer over a small bowl. Discard the pulp. Add the honey, ginger, and cinnamon to the pomegranate juice and combine. Set dressing aside.
Cut each date, lengthwise or crosswise, into 4-6 pieces. Slicing them crosswise creates nice little discs, but it requires a slightly steadier hand than cutting lengthwise. Discard the date seeds and add the dates to the bowl with the pomegranate seeds.
Slice the pear into bite-size pieces and toss with lemon juice. Add to the bowl with the pomegranate seeds and dates.
Pour dressing over the fruit and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.