My mother’s bountiful Sonoma, California garden has been the cause of many of my cooking adventures. Such blog hits as Israeli Salad, Basil-Mint Pesto, and Zucchini, Corn, and Almond Salad were all direct results of her very green thumb. I’ve simmered her figs into Fig and Onion Jam (The Lazy Gourmet, p.158), tossed homegrown watermelons into countless fruit salads, and have fried and eaten more green tomatoes than I’m able to comfortably admit. Or to comfortably eat. But I do it anyway.
I didn’t even remember that Mom had a persimmon tree when I recently found myself in possession of a large bag of ripe, firm Fuyus. I can’t explain why, but for some reason I was overwhelmed with the very specific urge to wrangle them into a sweet and savory persimmon salad—like a chicken salad, but with persimmons instead of chicken. Unable to find a recipe that hit the mark, I recalled the fact that I am an actual cookbook writer, and therefore authorized to invent new dishes. What I wound up with was precisely the creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty, minty, spicy, chicken-free persimmon salad that I had been craving. As any kitchen experimenter knows, it doesn’t always work out that way, but this one was a surprising and satisfying keeper. Enjoy!
Fuyu persimmons are firm (as opposed to soft varieties, like the Hachiya) and are shaped kind of like tomatoes. They turn from green to orange-red when they’re ripe, and can be eaten just like an apple, skin and all.
- ⅓ cup plain yogurt
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 4 Fuyu persimmons, chopped
- 1 cup unsalted cashews, toasted
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 – 3 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper
- In a medium serving bowl, mix yogurt well with salt and curry powder.
- Stir in persimmons, cashews, green onion, mint, and jalapeno.