Persimmons, Take Two
I have noticed that there aren’t a lot of persimmon recipes out there, compared with apples, pears, squash, etc. Not that many people like them? Not readily available everywhere? I don’t know. For whatever reason, people seem to mainly make puddings, pies and salads with them. I was left inventing a recipe since I don’t feel like a salad and the other recipe choices require an oven. If you haven’t read my other posts, I am cooking in a makeshift kitchen in my garage during a remodel. I have no oven, but I do have a grill, so I decided to make persimmon crostini.
How to season fresh persimmons? I tried the pumpkin pie spice route (cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger) but ended up with a pretty flat tasting result. Those spices seem to duplicate the flavors that persimmons naturally have. I decided I really needed to tone down the sweetness a bit and add some sort of contrasting flavor. I settled on fresh ginger, lime zest and goat cheese to complement the persimmon-ness. I hope you like it.
It’s just chopped fruit, what could go wrong? Right?
- OK, mostly this went right, but I ended up with 3 different unrelated recipes. I started with the idea of homemade ricotta and mashed persimmon crostini. The homemade ricotta was good, but mashing persimmons isn’t advised as they are pretty stringy. After dicing them finely, the dish came together but the whole thing seemed kind of flat. Nothing I tried made them taste as fresh as I wanted — pumpkin spices, black pepper, lime juice, honey, nothing. The persimmon needed to be paired with a sharp flavor.
- Goat cheese adds a sharp flavor, but also needed to be toned down so it didn’t overpower the persimmons. So I mixed it with ricotta (store bought, heh).
- Fuyu persimmons can be cloyingly sweet, so I chose a small amount of a bracing flavor, fresh ginger. Lime zest also adds a bit of zing.
A sweet and tart appetizer featuring fall's neglected fruit
- 2-3 firm, ripe Fuyu persimmons (about 1 pound)
- 1/4 tsp diced or minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 tsp lime zest, plus more for garnish
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 4 oz fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/2 fresh baguette
- olive oil for brushing
- honey for drizzling
- Remove the peel, core and seeds (if any) from persimmons. Dice into 1/4″ cubes. Combine persimmons, ginger and lime zest. Use very finely diced ginger if you want a pop of ginger flavor while you chew. Use finely minced ginger if you want more uniform flavors. Let rest for 30 minutes to blend flavors.
- Mix goat cheese and ricotta until easily spreadable and set aside.
- Make the crostini. Slice baguette diagonally into 3/4″ slices. You will need 12 for this recipe. On a grill or a grill pan, toast bread slices for 1-2 minutes on each side or until the bread is toasted golden. You can also toast the bread in a 400 oven. Brush bread slices with olive oil.
- Spread a generous amount of cheese mixture onto each crostini and top with persimmon mixture. Drizzle with honey. Garnish with additional lime zest.