I was walking in Chinatown the other day and came across a street vendor with a giant stall of Fuyu persimmons. I haven’t cooked much with persimmons before which is a shame because i just recently discovered what a versatile, delicious and beautiful ingredient it can be. After buying a bagful for a bargain i came home and started experimenting with them. A cake was made and mercilessly eaten. This salad barely survived long enough to be photographed.
It’s important to note there are many different varieties of persimmons, with only about 2 that are widely available – the fuyu and the hachiya – the astringent and the non-astringent. The fuyu belongs to the non-astringent types because it is palatable both before and after fully ripening, where as the hachiya belongs to the astringent varieties, when unripe they will suck out the moisture out of your cheeks and make you wrinkle and grimace like an old monkey. And i’m not exaggerating one bit.
The fuyu persimmon is firm, crispy and delicately sweet when not fully ripe and develops a deliciously rich honey-like type of sweet when fully ripe. When finely sliced into a carpaccio, sprinkled with fleur de sel and paired with a savory salad of frisée, mâche, endives, San Daniele ham, manchego and pecans it brings out the best of both worlds. A drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar adds complexity and character to create the perfect osmose between savory and sweet.
And that’s what you get for very little efforts. Enjoy!
Fuyu Persimmon Carpaccio with San Daniele Ham, Manchego, Pecans & Aged Balsamic
- Serves 4
For the salad:
- 2 ripe Fuyu persimmons
- 1 head frisée, washed and dried
- 2 handfuls mâche, washed and dried
- 2 endives, sliced
- 1/4 lb San Daniele proscuitto, sliced finely
- olive oil
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- Fleur de sel
- Black pepper
- 1/4 cup pecans, toasted
- aged manchego, shaved
- aged balsamic, for drizzling
For the salad :
- Peel the fuyu persimmons and slice them finely on a mandoline. Arrange the slices on 4 plates and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
- Combine the frisée, mâche and endives in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss.
- Mount the salad on top of the persimmon carpaccio, alternating slices of San Daniele proscuitto, shavings of aged manchego and pecans.
- Grind some black pepper over the salads and drizzle with some aged balsamic. Serve. Enjoy. Yaddi yaddi, yadda.