Oh, dear. I’ve recently been introduced to persimmons, those bright orange-spicy little globes that (very modestly) nestle into the corner of my Whole Foods produce section-not clamoring for any attention, not taking up too much space (they let the bananas and pineapples do their thing), but quietly announcing their presence this season. I tend to spend a lot of time in the produce section (sometimes just admiring the beauty there-or-trying to not to look like a complete fool as I navigate my apparently oversized cart through their snug little aisles. Yesterday I knocked two apples off the bin…much to the delight of a sweet little 5-year-old boy who laughed with me as I picked them up and placed them in my bag. Hopefully no one else saw. It was our secret.) Anyways, I’ve noticed a few people slowly walk past the display of persimmons, stealing a second glance as they walk past. A few have stopped and picked them up, as if trying to decide what to do with one. I was the same way, until I found this recipe and was bound and determined to try one for myself.
Anything with a wine sauce is good, right? Yes. I cooked the syrup in the morning with plans to serve this dish in the evening. My whole apartment smelled divine-a mix of vanilla and cinnamon and totally holiday season-appropriate. In the end, I served the persimmons (lightly reheated) over some frozen Greek vanilla yogurt-but you could serve it with anything, really. Ice cream, yogurt, whipped cream, whatever. This is a fantastic addition to any holiday meal.
Persimmons in Spiced Syrah Syrup
1 cup Syrah wine
1/2 cup sugar
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
One half of a vanilla bean (or the whole thing, if you love vanilla)
2 slices lemon
3-4 ripe Fuyu persimmons
Frozen Greek vanilla yogurt
For garnish: mint, candied ginger
1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the wine, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and lemon slices to a boil, stirring occasionally.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer until slightly thickened, about 18-20 minutes.
3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Discard the solids.
4. Remove the brown stems from the persimmons and slice the fruit into wedges.
5. Place the persimmons into the warm Syrah syrup and cover. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight, stirring every once in a while.
6. Serve the fruit over ice cream, frozen yogurt, etc and garnish with mint and candied ginger, if desired.
Source: Vegetarian Times November 2012.