We can’t grow persimmons along the coast. We don’t have enough chill hours in the winter to set the blossoms, and heat in the summer to ripen them. But I have a few friends that bring them to me because I love them. There are two varieties that are both delicious. Each variety has a purpose.
- Fuyu Persimmons (or Jiro or Sharon fruit) are short and firm. They’re crisp and the skin can be eaten or peeled like an apple. They are great in fruit salads. These tomato-like ones are the better variety for eating fresh.
- Hachiya are more “peach-shaped”. They are eaten when soft. You can spoon out the meat. I like these for baking but you must let them ripen until they are very soft.
Here’s a great use of Fuyu Persimmons. It’s an easy-to-make salad and great on a buffet table as it is a salad that will keep for a few hours without wilting.
Persimmon Salad with Spinach & Pecans
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade or orange zest
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Salt and pepper
3 quarts baby spinach leaves (1 lb.), rinsed and crisped in refrig.
5 firm Fuyu persimmons (5 oz. each), peeled and sliced into wedges
3/4 cup glazed pecans
In a large bowl, mix vinegar, marmalade, and sesame oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make a bed of spinach. Put persimmons and pecans on top. Pour dressing over top. Mix gently to coat with dressing.
Note: The dressing and persimmons for this salad can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead; wrap fruit bowl with fruit and chill. Assemble the salad shortly before serving.
How to make glazed pecans:
1 Tbls. butter
3 Tbls. dark brown sugar
3 Tbls. maple-flavored syrup or real maple syrup
2 cups pecan halves or pieces (8 oz)
Heat oven to 350°F.
1. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and syrup; mix well. Cook until bubbly, stirring constantly.
2. Add pecans; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until coated. Spread mixture on to parchment-lined cookie sheet.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store in tightly covered container.
Next time you have an abundance of Fujus, make this salad and let me know what you think.