Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Persimmon Salsa--Farmer's Market Exotic Fruits

The next fruit I am featuring is the persimmon. Persimmons originated in China and are grown here on the islands with the largest amounts grown on the slopes of the mountains (Haleakala on Maui and Kamuela on The Big Island), as persimmons like the cooler slopes. There are several varieties of persimmons but the main three grown in Hawaii are Hachiya, Maru and Fuyu and you find them at their best and most plentiful in fall and winter. I bought the Fuyu variety which is both slightly crunchy and sweet with light orange flesh and a sweet mild flavor. I was never a huge fan of persimmon because the ones I tried (mostly from grocery stores) were either too hard or mushy and not that sweet. These were much better, nicely sweet and firm but not too hard and crunchy.

You can slice and eat them and put them in soup, salads and desserts. The Hawaii Farmer's Market Cookbook had a recipe for a quick and easy Persimmon Salsa that I thought would be good with some grilled fish.

Persimmon Salsa
Jackie Hashimoto, Hasihmoto Farms, Kula Maui
The Hawaii Farmer's Market Cookbook

3 fuyu or maru persimmon, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp chopped mint
salt to taste
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes about 3 cups

Notes/Results: I halved the recipe using about 1 1/2 persimmon. The salsa was good as is but I made a couple of changes that made it great--a few red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon really enhanced the flavor. The salsa ingredients (persimmon, pineapple, sweet onion--I used a Maui onion and pineapple mint) were all from the farmer's market. I served it with some wild halibut I had in the freezer, simply grilled with a little blood orange olive oil, salt and pepper. I often forget how good a nice fruit salsa can be with fish--this is a recipe I would make again.

Instead of TGIF, celebrate TFF*
(*Tyler Florence Fridays)
Pick a Tyler recipe and join us.
The first round-up will be this Friday!


  1. I love fruit salsa with seafood! Your dinner looks SO yummy.

    I've never tried persimmons, but I'm pretty sure the ones I could find up here on Cape Cod wouldn't be the best.

    Again, I'm green with envy at your farmer's market finds - but I love experiencing them vicariously through you.

  2. Hi there Deb. This Salsa sounds tasty. I favor fruity salsa. Never even considered persimmon, great choice. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. I was thinking that I had not had persimmon but now that I look at it I did try some a couple of months ago. I don't imagine they retain much flavour after travelling to Canada though.
    I love halibut - fruit salsa is perfect with it. And yes to the pepper flakes, yes to the lemon.
    Very healthy, more room for ice cream later!

  4. I've wanted to try persimmons for ages but I don't know what to do with them. Thanks for posting this!

  5. Never tried cooking with persimmons before... Wish we had a CHicago Farmer's Market cookbook.

  6. That sounds great. The persimmons I have had have had almost a jellied texture - very nice but not what you describe! Must be a different variety.

  7. Laurie--thanks! Its hard when you see the things you want to make with ingredients you can't find easily where you live. I have the same problem on this end sometimes!

    Teresa--thanks! I never thought about it either but the texture and flavor work well.

    Natashya--the beauty of the salsa is that it adds some of that flavor back. Bring on the ice cream!

    Sara--I never knew what to do with them either. The cookbook also said to try them with prosciutto which I think would be good.

    Jude--I am surprised you don't have a cookbook--seems like a lot of the Farmer's Markets are doing it.

    Foodycat--seems like there are a lot of varieties--Fuyu is like a soft pear in texture so it works well in this.

  8. I love persimmons, but they have to be eaten just at the right moment in the ripening process. Otherwise they have an unpleasant taste (to me).

    The salsa looks delicious!

  9. Matt-thanks! You're right it's a fine line between the good ones and not good ones.


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