Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com

small 1 of 3 - Persimmons at the Save Mart grocery store in Manteca on Wednesday December 6, 2006. Save Mart is entering the Sacramento market by purchasing the Albertsons stores. The company also owns Food Maxx stores, which generate half the company's profits. Sacramento Bee/ Randall Benton

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    In season in California: September through November

    How to choose good persimmons: The two most popular varieties of persimmons in California are the acorn-shaped Hachiyas and the tomato-shaped Fuyus. Look for Hachiyas that are very soft, almost. Fuyus can be eaten when they are crisp. Whatever the variety, choose persimmons that have deep, saturated colors. Some black staining on the skin is not a problem, and some folks claim this means the fruit is especially sweet.

    Taste: Fuyu are crisp and sweet and the skin can be eaten or peeled. They are great in fruit salads and are the better variety for eating fresh. Hachiya are best for cooking but eaten raw when very soft. When eating raw, best eaten chilled and scooped out with a spoon.

    Health benefits: According to Science Daily, persimmons contain high concentrations of dietary fiber, minerals and phenolic compounds – all instrumental in fighting atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

  • Salad of fall greens with persimmons and hazelnuts Prep time: 15 minutes Serves: 10 This recipe is made with Fuyu persimmons, the ones that are eaten crunchy. The tangerine dressing adds a nice flavor burst on top of watercress and baby greens. The recipe is from Bon Appetit. INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup fresh tangerine juice 1 tablespoon grated tangerine peel 3/4 cup vegetable oil 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil or walnut oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 head escarole (about 11 ounces), torn into 2-inch pieces (about 12 cups) 1 large bunch watercress, stemmed (about 6 cups) 1 5-ounce bag mixed baby greens 2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled, halved, thinly sliced 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skin rubbed off INSTRUCTIONS

    Boil tangerine juice and tangerine peel in heavy, small saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Whisk in next 5 ingredients. Season dressing with pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Whisk again before serving.

    Place all greens and half of persimmon slices in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among plates. Top each with remaining persimmon slices and hazelnuts and serve.

    Per serving: 249 cal.; 2 g pro.; 11 g carb.; 23 g fat (3 sat., 8 monounsat., 12 polyunsat.); 0 mg chol.; 136 mg sod.; 3 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 79 percent calories from fat. Persimmon Soup With Curry Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Makes: 6 servings INGREDIENTS 3 1/2 Fuyu persimmons peeled and sliced 1/2 onion finely chopped 4 cups low sodium chicken broth 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder INSTRUCTIONS

    In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, combine the persimmon with the onion, ginger and ¼ cup chicken broth. Cook down until the mixture is quite thick and sticky. Deglaze the pan with another ¼ cup of broth and repeat the process.

    Repeat this process until you have used 1 cup of broth total, then add the curry powder and the remaining broth. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the persimmon is very tender.

    Using a hand blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and garnish with cilantro.

    Chinese Chicken and Persimmon Lettuce Wraps 4 servings (3 wraps per serving) This recipe is from “Cooking Light.” INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 teaspons peanut oil 1/2 cup minced green onions 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 pound ground chicken 1 cup chopped peeled Fuyu persimmon (about 2) 1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 1 tablespoon oyster sauce 12 Boston lettuce leaves INSTRUCTIONS

    Heat peanut oil in a large skilet over medium-high heat. Add onions, cornstarch and chicken to pan; saute for 4 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring to crumble. Add persimmon, water chestnuts, ginger, soy sauce, juice and oyster sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Spoon ¼ cup chicken mixture into center of each leaf lettuce; roll up jelly-roll fashion.

    Indiana persimmon bread Makes: About 16 slices This recipe is from "Back Home Again" by the Junior League of Indianapolis. INGREDIENTS 1 cup seedless raisins 1/2 cup brandy 1/2 cup sugar 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar 2 cups persimmon pulp 1 cup vegetable oil 4 eggs 4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 cup chopped walnuts INSTRUCTIONS

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two 9-by-5-inch or three 8-by-4-inch loaf pans. Put the raisins in the brandy and set aside. Combine the sugars, persimmon pulp and oil. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition. Sift together the dry ingredients into a medium bowl. Add to the egg mixture and stir in the brandied raisins and the nuts.

    Pour into greased pans. Bake for 1 hour, a bit longer for the 9-inch pans. Be sure to test with a cake tester to make sure the bread is done; you may have to adjust cooking time.

    Per slice: 456 cal.; 6 g pro.; 61 g carb.; 19 g fat (3 sat.; 5 monounsat.; 11 polyunsat.); 53 mg chol.; 249 mg sod.; 40 percent calories from fat. Persimmon bars Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Makes 30 3-by-1-1/2-inch bars Make sure the persimmons are soft and mushy or they will be puckery to the taste. Ripen them quickly by placing them in a paper bag with an apple. Once ripe, they can be refrigerated for a few days before using. INGREDIENTS 1 cup persimmon pulp 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup pitted dates, snipped 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 3/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon cloves 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

    Lemon glaze:

    1 cup powdered sugar, sifted 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon melted butter INSTRUCTIONS

    In a small bowl, mix together the persimmon pulp, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and baking soda. Set aside.

    In another bowl, mix together the egg, sugar, oil, dates and vanilla.

    In a third bowl, sift together the flour, salt and spices. Add this to the date mixture, alternating it with the persimmon mixture. Stir in nuts.

    Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan and spread the batter evenly in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Spread with lemon glaze.

    Lemon glaze: Mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice and melted butter until smooth. Spread on cooled bars.

    Per bar: 145 cal.; 2 g pro.; 21 g carb.; 7 g fat (1 sat.; 2 monounsat.; 4 polyunsat.); 7 mg chol.; 123 mg sod.; 39 percent calories from fat.

Persimmons recipes

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 - 9:09 pm

In season in California: September through November

How to choose good persimmons: The two most popular varieties of persimmons in California are the acorn-shaped Hachiyas and the tomato-shaped Fuyus. Look for Hachiyas that are very soft, almost. Fuyus can be eaten when they are crisp. Whatever the variety, choose persimmons that have deep, saturated colors. Some black staining on the skin is not a problem, and some folks claim this means the fruit is especially sweet.

Taste: Fuyu are crisp and sweet and the skin can be eaten or peeled. They are great in fruit salads and are the better variety for eating fresh. Hachiya are best for cooking but eaten raw when very soft. When eating raw, best eaten chilled and scooped out with a spoon.

Health benefits: According to Science Daily, persimmons contain high concentrations of dietary fiber, minerals and phenolic compounds – all instrumental in fighting atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.



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