Wednesday, December 31, 2008

personally persimmons

When you get something right, you just know. This season I couldn't get enough persimmons. Didn't matter whether it was fuju or hachiya. Fuju are the round ones shaped like a tiny orange pumpkin. You buy these while they are firm to the touch. As you can see I even used them in a Persimmon Upside-Down Cake. Peel them, slice them and use them in salads too. I love the sweet crunch. Hachiya couldn't be more opposite. They're more elongated with kind of a point at the bottom. If you eat them when they are still firm and crunchy, you'll die! Well not really but it won't be the best sensation. You buy these when they're really ripe and feel like jelly. Then they are sweet and best used in a persimmon pudding. But I feel awful telling you this because both the hachiya and the fuju are almost out of season. Before they are going, going, gone, you HAVE to make this salad. Easy as pie and totally delicious.

Green Bean, Persimmon and Hazelnut Salad

1 pound green beans
1 Fuju persimmon, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until tender yet crisp, 4 to 7 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Add the persimmons and hazelnuts.

In another small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the vinaigrette over the green beans and persimmons and toss together carefully.

Serves 4 to 6

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