Late fall means persimmon season. There are two types commonly found in the U.S., and they’re used and eaten in distinct ways. Hachiyas are deep orange in color, with a pointed end, and must be allowed to ripen until extremely soft in texture, or they are too astringent to eat; they are usually used in cooking, and must always be peeled. Fuyus are lighter in color with a flatter shape similar to that of a tomato. Fuyus are eaten firm or just slightly soft, and whether to peel is a personal choice, though most people don’t. They’re great simply eaten out of hand like an apple, but they can also be incorporated into lots of dishes.

rworange says persimmons are delicious with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chile powder, as in the Mexican treatment for mangoes. They also make great dippers for chocolate fondue.

Glencora makes a pureed curried persimmon soup that begins with sauteing diced, peeled persimmons, onions, ginger, and spices.

They’re also a great addition to salad, whether a simple green salad, or one designed around them. Carb Lover likes them with thinly shaved fennel, apple, and toasted walnuts dressed witth just enough lemon-mayo dressing to moisten it. rworange says this autumn salad with persimmons and pecans is one of the most successful things she’s ever made.

singleguychef shares his recipe for chicken salad with persimmons, great in sandwiches or served on greens:

1.5 lbs. chicken breasts with skin and bones
2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 persimmons, peeled and diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup roasted unsalted walnuts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides and under the skin and coat with olive oil. Place on roasting pan and bake for about 25 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool. In large bowl, tear strips of the chicken meat. Add persimmons, celery, and walnuts. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard, salt, lemon juice and zest. Fold mixture into chicken and other ingredients, adding as much of the mayonnaise mixture as you like. Add pepper to taste and chill for about an hour.

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