I have to say, this might just be one of the crappiest winters in recent memory. It's been damp and grey and miserable for days at a time, with only just the briefest glimpses of sun in between. Work's been a non-stop roller coaster of insanity. And let's not even talk about the awful bout of stomach flu that basically took over my entire holiday break. No sunshine and no coffee makes Isabelle a very unhappy girl indeed.
One bright spot came in the form of a basket of persimmons that arrived at my door the week before Christmas. Even the greyest day gets a little brighter when you've got a half-dozen brilliantly orange fruits on your dining room table.
These weren't just any persimmons, either. These were Persimon® persimmons, a specially-bred variety from Ribera del Xúquer Valley in Spain. Persimons (yes, the missing "s" is intentional) are shaped like a slightly larger version of the acorn-shaped Hachiya, but can be eaten while firm like the smaller, squatter Fuyu.
If you've been fooled by an underripe Hachiya before, you know all about that mouth-puckering tannins that lingers on until the fruit is completely soft, but I'm pleased to report that Persimons are blissfully free of even the slightest hint of astringency. The flesh is firm and slightly crisp, almost like an underripe peach, with a delicate and slightly sweet flavour.
I would have happily eaten the whole basket out of hand, but I was a woman on a mission... namely, a mission to recreate one of the recipes from the Persimon Says website.
I wanted to stick with a simple recipe that let the flavour of the persimmons shine, so I opted for the Poached Salmon with Persimon-Lime Salsa. The Husband is rather particular about fish, though, so I chose to bake the salmon under a hot broiler instead. A simple lime-honey glaze brushed onto the salmon before cooking gives it hint of citrusy sweetness and a lovely caramelized exterior that pairs perfectly with the tangy freshness and subtle sweetness of the salsa.
The salsa itself is bright and lively, like a little taste of summer in the middle of a dreary winter. I'm thinking it would be brilliant with a seared tuna steak or a meaty grilled fish like halibut, or even with grilled chicken thighs or a crispy pork roast.
Unfortunately, while the damp grey weather lingers on, my supply of persimmons is now long-gone. Thankfully, Persimon season runs through to late January/early February, so I'll be hustling to the grocery store shortly to replenish my supply. There's a persimmon scone recipe I've been working on, and I'm determined to get it right before the season is over.
Disclosure: I was provided with a case of Persimon® persimmons for review and recipe development purposes. All opinions are, as always, entirely my own.
- 4 salmon filets (6 oz each)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 Persimon® persimmon, finely diced
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp hot sauce
- ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
- Preheat broiler on high. Line a large baking sheet with foil, and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Arrange the salmon filets on the prepared baking sheet, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey and chili powder. Brush onto the salmon filets.
- Place the filets under the hot broiler for 6-8 minutes, or until the fish is crisp and browned on the top and flakes easily with a fork.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salsa by tossing together the diced persimmon, lime juice, chopped cilantro, lime zest, olive oil, hot sauce and grated ginger. To serve, place a salmon filet on each plate and then top with a generous spoonful of salsa.