As a blogger, I get some fun opportunities. At the start of the third week of December I was offered a crate of Spanish Persimon persimmons. I was asked to try the fruit, prepare one of the provided recipes, some some photos and blog about it. I was told that if I posted by recipe/photos to my blog and tweet about it by January 5 I’d be entered to win a Visa gift card and if I posted/tweeted by December 31 I’d get two entries. 20 bloggers were involved in this campaign.
I wanted to be a keener. With my family’s chanukah brunch on December 21, I decided to make the Persimon® and Serrano Sushi Bites, replacing the ham with smoked salmon. Then I’d have a week and a half to write about it. I bought the sushi rice and other ingredients. Jason bought a large package of smoked salmon from Costco. We were going to make them the morning of the brunch and make them look pretty. And by “we”, I mean “he”, because he does my culinary homework and I document it. It’s how our partnership works.
Blame It on the Bacon…
Then came the bacon slicing accident. After midnight 3 pork bellies came off the smoker for double smoked bacon. With the electric meat slicer (the older version of this one, similar to what you’d see at a butcher’s or deli) Jason sliced the first one up. Meanwhile, I arranged them on festive “Ho Ho Ho” plates and vacuum sealed them for Christmas gifts. I left the room for a few moments while he caught up with the slicing and as he was finishing with the first chunk of meat he sliced through his finger. He didn’t sever the tip, but sliced through nail and bone. After a “glue vs. emergency room” consideration, during which I discovered our tube of Krazy Glue to be useless, he drove himself to a hospital ER where he waited several hours without seeing anyone who could fix it. Eventually he gave up, took matters into his own hand, bought himself some Krazy Glue at a 24-hour 7-11 and came home around 4:30am. I tried waiting up.
With Jason down a digit and both of us under-slept, the Sushi Bites were not made. Instead we bought overpriced jelly doughnuts.
…And My Ailing Body
The night before New Years’ Eve we had a hot pot dinner party. I was going to make the sushi bites myself but I had a multi-day migraine that had sort of begun the week before. I could barely manage to clean and help set the table in the morning. I would not be making those Sushi Bites. Jason had no time. Persimon says “Fail”.
I could flippantly quote Douglas Adams and say, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” but I kind of felt like an asshole for not meeting my commitment. I had more than 2 weeks from the time the beautiful fruit arrived on my door step.
Thankfully, the Persimon people were sensitive to my tales of bodily harm and granted me a deadline extension.
Change of plan
Yesterday I decided that we were going to have Persimon and Chorizo Pizza for dinner, and I was going to make it.
Recipe: Persimon and Chorizo Pizza
500g pizza dough*
2 Persimon®, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
1 cup (250 ml) thinly sliced spicy chorizo
½ cup (125 ml) shaved Manchego cheese
2 tsp (10 ml) balsamic glaze
2 cups (500 ml) baby arugula
1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil
pinch salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
On a lightly oiled work surface divide dough in half. Roll and stretch halves to form 2- 9” x 15” rectangles. Transfer rectangles to parchment lined baking sheets.
Toss Persimon® slices with lemon juice and arrange on dough, top with chorizo slices.
Bake in preheated for 10-15 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with shaved cheese and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Toss arugula with oil, salt and pepper and top on pizzas just before serving.
*Modification: Usually we’d either make our own pizza dough or buy a ball from the butcher across the street, but we had a package of two pre-made deep dish crusts that we bought on our way to the campground on Thanksgiving weekend and then didn’t need.
The “balsamic glaze” that I used was “Balsamic Vinegar Sauce with Lemon”, which works really well with arugula. I suspect that it’s been in the pantry for a long time and that it’s a discontinued product, as I couldn’t find it on the makers’ website.
A second pizza was made with the other crust, regularly sauced and full of chorizo and homemade double smoked bacon with preserved smoked garlic. (see photo below).
How was it?
Jay and I both had our doubts we enjoyed it! The result was a balanced sweet and spicy, with the spice coming from the chorizo. I dug the arugula. Leftover it wasn’t as good. I didn’t want to reheat it because of the arugula.
On Sunday Jay dug into the crate of persimmons and chopped up most of them for apple-permission sauce for the latkes that we entered into Latkepalooza. There were some leftover slices after making the pizza last night so this morning I put them into my oatmeal.
Win a Trip… to Spain!
Our friend Persimon wants you to know about his contest to win a one-week trip for 2 to Valencia, Spain, including airfare, accommodation and breakfast. Contest end January 31.
(*Open to Canadian residents, excluding Quebec.)
Persimon Persimmon Facts
- Persimon is grown in the Ribera del Xúquer Valley (Xúquer river valley) near Valencia in Spain. The fruit, which is an indigenous variety to the region, was first discovered growing in Valencia more than 50 years ago and is thought to have developed naturally from the conventional persimmon varieties that were introduced into eastern Spain.
- Persimon from Ribera del Xúquer tends to be larger and longer than other persimmon varieties, such as the small, squat Sharon fruit. They have a sweet, delicate flavour similar to a peach or a mango and are only available for a short period; usually from mid-October until January/February.
- Persimon is not astringent like other varieties of persimmons. They’re sweet and firm and delicious raw.
- Persimon persimmons are high in fibre, with 6 grams per fruit. Tis is double the fibre content of a peach, banana or orange.
- Persimon persimmons are a source of vitamins C, K and folate, and an excellent source of vitamin A. They also contain potassium, magnesium and manganese
- It’s an orange-coloured fruit, which means that it’s high in antioxidants beta carotene, lutein and lycopene.
Selecting, Storing & Eating Persimon Persimmons
- When purchasing Persimon, the fruit will be firm and ready to eat.
- When you get the home, store them in a bowl on the counter, separated from other fruit. Do not refrigerate. (I like this. One fewer item taking up fridge space!)
- Persimmons are versatile and can be eated either hard, like an apple, or soft, like a peach.
- Eat it fresh out-of-hand of slice into wedges. There are no seeds or pit. Leave the skin on or peel it.