After walking past persimmons for the past few weeks and thinking “what the heck is a persimmon?” I finally bought some and figured that the inspiration would come to me once they were in my apartment. However, some persimmons were orange, some were reddish orange and some were almost a yellowish orange. I consulted Google for a few moments and then just bit the bullet and bought three.
Fast forward to Sunday, when I decided to tackle these mysterious persimmons.
Persimmons are like a sugary tomato. They’re commonly used in jams and baking, they’re so sweet (yet healthy!) Right away, I sliced open my first one. BLAHGGKK! is what I thought. Immediately, a bittery and gritty taste overtook my mouth – it felt like my tongue was paralyzed, and I thought that I might be allergic to persimmons!
Back to the drawing board: Google. The trick, I found, is to make sure your persimmons are ripe – and round! My bad. They should be a deep orangeish red or else they will taste very bitter. Luckily, I bought a couple for recipe experimenting and had a ripe one on hand.
When you roast most fruits/veggies, their sugars “come out” and they become sweeter than their raw version. Therefore, to avoid the slightest bit of bitterness, I set on to roast the persimmons. Google was right – they are deliciously sweet and juicy! Combined with the roasted grapes, this dish packs a lot of healthy sugars.
As you all know, I have an affinity for cheese plates. Therefore, I added some freshly sliced camembert, pistachios, and put it all on a bed of cucumber noodles, to give it a refreshing and salad-like taste. This dish would make the perfect Sunday brunch after a full morning of errands and shopping. It’s elegant, light, sweet, savory and filling.
Don’t make the same mistake I made and bite into a less-than-ripe persimmon… and when in doubt, ask Google.
Warm Balsamic & Roasted Grape Cucumber Noodles with Roasted Persimmons, Camembert and Pistachios
- 1 cup red grapes
- olive oil to drizzle
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 persimmon very ripe, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 medium cucumber Blade A
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch of oregano flakes
- 4 1.5" slices of camembert cheese
- 1/4 cup pistachios lightly roasted and deshelled
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a baking tray, pour in your red grapes. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and mix to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary.
- Bake the grapes in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are easily crushed with a fork.
- 10 minutes before the grapes are done, lower the oven heat to 400, add the persimmon slices to a baking tray coated with cooking spray. Drizzle them lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.
- While everything is roasting, prepare your balsamic. Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and oregano into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Place your cucumber noodles on a plate or bowl and set aside.
- Once the grapes and persimmon slices are done, remove them from the oven.
- Take about 5 grapes, crush them with a fork and put them in the balsamic vinegar bowl, including their juices. Whisk thoroughly.
- Crush about half of the remaining roasted grapes. Place them on top of the cucumber noodles.
- Top the cucumber noodles and grapes with the persimmon slices. Drizzle the salad with desired amount of balsamic vinegar and top with pistachios and camembert. Enjoy!