In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Persimmons

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Persimmons

Persimmons are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and rich in fiber. Also, they’re almost fat free! Here are a few delicious suggestions for both Fuyus and Hachiyas. Remember the Fuyus are to be eaten when hard, like an apple. They are not good when soft. The Hachiyas are the opposite – they must be eaten or used when extremely soft or they will be very bitter.

Fuyu Persimmon Serving Suggestions & Recipes:

Fuyu Persimmons

Remember the Fuyu should be used when firm, like an apple.

  • Eat Fuyus out of hand, like an apple
  • Roasted beets (such as our beautiful Golden or Chioggia beets), sliced Fuyu persimmons, arugula, crumbled goat cheese and candied pecans drizzled with balsamic vinegar make a fantastic fall salad (we recommend a pomegranate-infused balsamic).
  • Dress up a cheese plate with glowing orange Fuyu persimmon slices. Cheese plate selection suggestion: nutty Gruyere, thinly sliced prosciutto, toasted walnuts.
  • Put a new spin on salsa; combine chopped Fuyus with red onion, tomatillos, cilantro, and Serrano chilies.
  • Top cold or hot breakfast cereal with Fuyu persimmon slices or cubes.

Persimmon & Fennel Couscous

Just as you would add in raisins or other fruits to a couscous, the Fuyus add a new flavor and texture to an otherwise lackluster side dish. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped fennel, white bulb part only
  • Half of 1 small yellow or red onion, diced (about 1/4 -1/2 cup)
  • 2 Fuyu persimmons, quartered and diced
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, warmed
  • 1/4 cup raw slivered almonds (toasted if desired)
  • 1 TBL chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt, to taste

Directions: In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and fennel and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in persimmons and thyme and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in couscous for 1 minute, then pour in the broth. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes (or according to the couscous package directions).

Stir in parsley, almonds and salt to taste. Serve warm.

Persimmon Salad with Medjool Dates, Cashews, and Honey

It has been an outstanding year for California-grown Medjool Dates, and what better to pair them with than locally grown Fuyu persimmons? This dish, originally featured in Sunset magazine in October 2010, is simply, just the way we like it. Plus, all the ingredients are at Sigona’s! Find the original post on the Sunset website. Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Ingredients:

  • 6 small or 4 large Fuyu persimmons (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cut into wedges
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into slivers
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews, very roughly chopped
  • 1 TBL finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Lime wedges

Directions: Toss persimmons with dates and cashews in a medium bowl. In a small microwave-safe bowl, whisk together ginger, honey, and salt. Microwave until honey is thin enough to drizzle, about 20 seconds. Whisk again, then drizzle on salad and toss to coat. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze on top.

Find nutritional info and a photo on the original post on Sunset magazine’s site.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Fuyu Persimmons and Walnuts

This recipe is courtesy of food guru Stephanie Stiavetti, of the food blog www.theculinarylife.com. Stephanie, now a resident of Oakland, grew up in Redwood City and remembers shopping at Sigona’s, and we’re honored to share her recipe with you! She has also co-author a cookbook, Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, due out in 2013. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3 TBL bacon fat (or butter, or olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 Fuyu persimmons, chopped

Directions: Place apricots in a bowl with warm water and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain apricots and set aside, discarding water. Wash and dry Brussels sprouts. Slice thinly using either a knife or the disk attachment of your food processor. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and add walnuts, agitating occasionally. Toast until they darken in color a bit and become fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, melt bacon fat (or oil of your choice). Add the Brussels sprouts, salt, pepper, persimmon, and apricots, stirring well, cooking just until the Brussels sprouts turn bright green and are tender to the bite, about 5 minutes. Stir in walnuts and cook for 1 minute. Serve hot.

Fruity Fuyu Salad

This combination of unique fruits would make for a delicious breakfast when served over Greek yogurt and granola.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Fuyu persimmons, cut into wedges and halved
  • 1 cup red or green grapes, halved
  • Seeds from one large pomegranate (see video for easy removal)
  • 1 Fuji apple, sliced, cored and cubed (or you can use a Granny Smith for a more sweet-tart flavor)
  • 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • Juice from 1/2 of one lemon

Directions: Gently mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl and serve.

Persimmon & Kiwi Layer Salad with Pomegranate-Honey Dressing

This can be served as a started salad or as a sweet dessert. It’s a bright, flavorful way to feature fall fruits. Adapted from Uncommon Fruits & Vegetables by Elizabeth Schneider. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pomegranate, seeded (desired yield: 1 cup arils) Watch our How To Remove Pomegranate Seeds video.
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 TBL Honey Hole Honey Company Sage honey
  • 1 TBL fresh lemon juice (from about half a lemon)
  • 4 Fuyu persimmons, stem removed, fruit halved and sliced into half moons
  • 4 Kiwi, gold or regular, peeled, halved and sliced into half moons

Directions:  Lightly crush 2/3 cup of the arils in a bowl to extract some juice. Stir in yogurt, honey and lemon juice. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Arrange the persimmon and kiwi slices, alternating kiwi and persimmon, on four salad plates. Drizzle the yogurt dressing over each dish and sprinkle with reserved pomegranate arils.

Cook’s note: It’s best to eat this the day its made, though it will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Hachiya Persimmon Serving Suggestions & Recipes:

Hachiyas are more heart shaped and must be eaten only when soft...very soft...like a water balloon. The black, smudge-like spots are marks of the sun, making for sweeter fruit.

Remember, the Hachiya should be very, very ripe. It should have the texture of a water balloon.

  • The Hachiya makes a great topping. You can puree the pulp and spoon it put over plain yogurt, ice cream or even oatmeal.
  • A Hachiya persimmon puree is a delicious topping over triple cream cheese, such as Saint Andre, or the double cream Fromage D’Affinois.
  • The puree also makes wonderful sorbets and sauces, and can be mixed into batter for breads, cookies or other pastries.
  • Hachiyas can be eaten just as they are when ripe, too. Simply slice off the top and scoop out the pulp with a spoon.

Broiled Persimmon Halves With Brown Sugar

This recipe, by Elizabeth Schneider, author of Uncommon Fruits & Vegetables, goes beautifully alongside roasted duck, chicken, ham or other pork dishes, such as pork tenderloin. It’s also a lovely addition to Thanksgiving brunch. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe Hachiya persimmon (a ripe Hachiya is very soft, with the texture of a water balloon)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cold butter, shaved into thin pieces
  • Sour cream (optional)

Directions:

1. Cut out the leaf end of the persimmon, then half it lengthwise. Delicately slide a serrated knife around the fruit, close to the skin, to free the flesh (but do not remove the skin). Remove seeds, if any.

2. Spread 1 teaspoon of brown sugar over each half and dot with butter shavings.

3. Place the prepared persimmons in a pan and place under a preheated broiler. Heat only until the sugar bubbles and glazes – about 1 minute – or fruit will become tough and astringent. Serve at once, with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Hachiya Persimmon Bread

My family and I used to bake loaves of persimmon bread in tin cans and wrap them up in colorful cellophane, tied with ribbon to give as holiday gifts. You’ll love the sweet, moist persimmon bread served with a dollop of whipped cream and a light sprinkling of freshly ground nutmeg. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 2 c. Hachiya persimmon pulp (from about 2-4 large persimmons), seeds removed
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 c. pitted Medjool dates, diced
  • Optional: Whipped cream and freshly ground nutmeg.

Directions: Mix the eggs, oil and sugar together well in a large mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients and stir to blend well. Grease, with butter or oil, and flour the inside of four small loaf pans or four 16 oz. tin cans. Fill each loaf pan or can half full with the batter. Bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour, prick with a toothpick to check for doneness. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before removing from pans or cans.

Serve sliced with a dollop of whipped cream and a light sprinkling of freshly ground nutmeg if desired.

Cook’s notes: To hasten the ripening process of Hachiyas, you can freeze them and thaw them in the fridge. When they thaw they are liquid-like ripe.

The pulp of a ripe Hachiya should be jam-like in consistency, as shown here in a picture from the food blog Figs with Bri: http://www.figswithbri.com/

You can freeze the bread in the can or pan sealed in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Persimmon Puree

The puree can be used as a topping for creamy cheeses (such as St. Andre) or spooned over ice cream or oatmeal. It can also be used now or freeze it for later use in baked goods such as breads, cookies or pies.

What you need:

  • Hachiya persimmons
  • Lemon juice

Directions: Remove pulp from ripe Hachiya persimmons. Discard the skin and any seeds. Pulse the pulp in a blender with a little lemon juice (a good rule of thumb is for every 2 persimmons, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice).

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