It’s a tale as old as time, really. A girl (me) sees a good-looking, juicy, young thing (a persimmon) several times in a row at the food market and thinks about how she can best incorporate it into a dish that will taste great and photograph well.
I online stalk the persimmon and much to my disappoint, the persimmon does not have a Facebook account. I revert to the next best thing, its Wikipedia page. While scanning the page, I have a good chuckle learning that the Japanese persimmon is called a Diospyros kaki. I then come across the following paragraph:
In philosophy, the painting of persimmons by Mu Qi (13th Century) exemplifies the progression from youth to age as a symbol of the progression from bitterness to sweetness. The persimmon when young is bitter and inedible, but as it ages it becomes sweet and agreeable to humankind. Thus, as we age, we overcome rigidity and prejudice to attain compassion and sweetness.
Something about the description really resonated with me, and the current happenings in my life. I left my job a few weeks ago and even though I felt ready and had a plan, it still felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under my feet. In my first few days of freedom, thoughts of doubt flooded my head. What will I do now? Maybe I didn’t think this through? The secure and ripe persimmon in me regressed back into the unripe and bitter persimmon I had tried so hard to grow out of.
I let this stalking of a persimmon be a lesson to me in multiple ways:
- Persimmons are always better ripe.
- Even in times of distress and discomfort, it’s always best to stay level-headed and not regress into a bitter and unripe persimmon.
- Somethings are better left unshared, like the fact that I online stalked a persimmon.
Persimmon, Hazelnut and Blue Cheese Endive Cups
- 2 endives, outer leaves separated and left intact to make cups
- 1 bunch arugula
- 2 ripe persimmons, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts, lightly toasted and crushed
- A small bunch of watercress or micro watercress
- 150 g. (3.5 oz) mild blue cheese (I like Bavaria Blu)
- 3/4 cups pomegranate juice
- 5 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- The dressing: bring the pomegranate juice to a boil in a medium sauce over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally until the juice is reduced to 1/8 cup (this should take about 10-15 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. Whisk in the olive oil, honey, vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
- The salad: Place the persimmons, arugula and watercress in a bowl and toss to combine. Mix in half of the cheese and half of the hazelnuts. Combine with the dressing.
- Arrange the endive cups on a plate or platter of your choice. Fill them with the salad mix. Evenly distribute the remaining blue cheese and hazelnuts.