I’ve tried persimmons a few times and I have to say I wasn’t impressed. When firm and slightly underripe they were very astringent and by the time they tasted good they were so ripe as to be almost mushy.
The good news is that you can now buy a variety of persimmon called Fuyu which Woolworths are importing from New Zealand and which are non-astringent. I was inspired by my friend Franca to combine them with shaved fennel to make a delicious and unusual salad which goes particularly well with salmon.
Fuyu persimmons are ready to eat when they feel firm, like a tomato, not soft like a very ripe avocado.
2 firm Fuyu persimmons
1 bulb of fennel
3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
Wash persimmons, remove calyx then halve and thinly slice downwards. Wash fennel, trim off stalks (saving a few green fronds) halve then shave into very thin slices using a very sharp knife or a mandoline.
Arrange persimmon and fennel in a serving bowl. Place all ingredients for dressing in a small jar with a lid and shake well. Drizzle over the salad then decorate with a few green fennel fronds.