Inspiration from two separate dining experiences sparked the idea for creation of this delightful salad. First, an outstanding meal at Jun Won in LA, a gem of a restaurant that features regional Korean cooking from the province of Chungcheongnam-do. I was captivated by their salad of chrysanthemum greens (sukgat) with chestnut jelly. A week later we attended an event highlighting the “Tastes of the Korean Forest” including sanchae (wild vegetables grown in the mountains), oak mushroom, chestnut, and persimmon.
a p e r s i m m o n d r e a m s i c l e
a f r o z e n p e r s i m m o n i n t e r m e z z o
Last month Sally and I had the opportunity to harvest a ton of hachiya persimmons at the home of our friend Alice. This fabulous fruit is ready to pick here October through December only. And as Alice said, “if we didn’t take ’em, the birds surely would.” That was on December 8. Later that week, with the ripe ones, I made a persimmon bread pudding with a bourbon creme anglaise. Sally made a terrific ultra-moist persimmon steam pudding.
As the individual fruits ripen in their own sweet time, we had a bounty of the fruit for a month. When each fruit became extremely soft, I would squeeze out the pulp and save it, well-covered, in the refrigerator until I had enough to make a batch of frozen persimmon “intermezzos.” One batch was turned into a refreshing dessert reminiscent of the orange creamsicles we got from the Good Humor man as kids.
steam pudding with sliced fuyu and chantilly cream flavored with brandy
verrine layered with hachiya pulp, steam pudding, chantilly cream
hachiya & fuyu
Hachiya is heart-shaped. Fuyu is tomato-shaped. And the differences don’t end there.
The hachiya must be completely ripe to be palatable, or else the taste is astringent and off-putting, reminiscent of chalk. But when it is ripe it is sublime – a not-too-sweet apricot-like flavor, with a hint of honey, and unique slippery texture. The fuyu – on the other hand – can be eaten like an apple, diced for a salad or salsa, or sliced into wedges when it is softer and served with dessert or cheese. Persimmon has the pizzazzy flavor of Fall!
“I’ve got persimmons coming out my ears!” After work, Sally and I went over to Alice’s to help her with her “persimmon situation.” If we didn’t harvest the fruit, the birds surely would.