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.
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.
Details are here at the new TFF site.
The first round-up will be this Friday!