Tis the season for holiday parties, over indulging and spending time with those you love (or tolerate, at least) – right?
While I’m still sort of in recovery mode from breaking my nose and suffering a concussion – I thought it would be a great idea to have some friends over, as opposed to heading out for a night out on the town.
Full disclosure: I’m the first to admit that I’m not a whiz in the kitchen.
I know how to cook, but for the longest time I have chosen not to cook at home. All of this is changing as I am trying exciting and new recipes – and having my friends and family act as taste testers!
When you think of the holiday season, you’re likely to think of gingerbread, cranberries, peppermint, sugar cookies – all of the traditional goodies we are used to indulging in this time of year.
Last year I was introduced to Persimon and they were so sweet and delicious that I couldn’t wait until they were back in season this year so I could get my hands back on them!
Persimon have a sweet, delicate flavour similar to a peach or a mango and are only available for a short period; usually from mid-October until January/February.
Unlike other varieties – Persimon are ripe and ready to eat when firm – so you don’t have to play the guessing game on whether or not they are ready to eat!
Bring the flavours of Spain to your next gathering with this appetizer featuring delicious Spanish ingredients. The Tempranillo wine reduction, drizzled atop the Persimon wedges, adds a sophisticated touch to these tasty hors d’oeuvres.
¼ cup (50 ml) sugar
5 whole peppercorns
half cinnamon stick
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 Persimon, topped and sliced into 12 wedges
1 cup (250 ml) spinach leaves
50g (2oz) Manchego cheese, shaved
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 4000 F (200°C).
Place all of the ingredients for the wine reduction in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half, approximately 15 minutes.
Brush each bread slice with olive oil and place on a bake sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.
Heat a grill pan on high and brush with olive oil. In batches, grill the Persimon wedges
2 minutes per side.
To assemble the crostini place a few leaves of spinach on the crostini, top with Manchego cheese, followed by a grilled Persimon wedge. Drizzle with wine reduction and serve immediately.
Tip * Instead of the reduction try melting a 1/4 cup (60 ml) of apricot jam in a saucepan and drizzling over the crostini.
Makes 16 servings.
Refreshing and refined, these hors d’oeuvre parcels are perfect for any occasion. The sweet, juicy flavour of the Persimon® pairs perfectly with the richness of the Manchego and the peppery watercress.
1 Persimon, cut into 12 wedges
1/2 cup (125 ml) watercress
1/3 cup (75 ml) Manchego cheese, sliced into 12 equal pieces
Cut Serrano ham in half lengthwise. Place a Persimon wedge on top of a strip of ham.
Place a few pieces of watercress on one side of the Persimon. Add one piece of cheese on top of the watercress and wrap.
Makes 12 servings.
Did You Know: A Persimon contains seven essential nutrients (vitamin A, manganese, magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K) and has 6g of fiber, double the amount found in a peach, banana or orange?
Rare and precious, Persimon from Ribera del Xúquer is available in limited supply for a short period. They usually begin arriving in Canada in mid-October and are available through January, and sometimes into February. For store listings, click here.
Of course, I had to put on my thinking cap to decide which wine I would pair with these delicious appetizers.
Immediately – I knew which new favourite of mine would be the perfect match.
I decided to pair the Grilled Persimon Crostini with Manchego and Wine Reduction and Persimon Wrapped in Serrano Ham with Manchego and Watercress with a sparkling wine I recently had the opportunity to try at one of my favourite places – iYellow Wine Club.
We toast the mischief makers with their spells of laughter and the game changers who alter our ever after. We cherish the irreverent. The gracious. The dare devils and the angels. Here’s to the blue sky dreamers and free thinkers. The smart. The savvy. The down to earth and audacious.
As I said, this sparkling wine is a new favourite of mine, especially when you add a slice of lemon or lime to your glass. Best of all – they are sold in 25oml bottles – making it oh-so-convenient to enjoy a glass or two, as opposed to opening a full sized bottle of wine and having leftovers.
But, I mean, really – who ever has leftover wine? Seriously.
Pairing this sweet and subtle sparking wine with the Grilled Persimon Crostini with Manchego Cheese was a perfect pairing. The sweetness of the the Persimon matched perfectly with the aromatic and refreshing lime and citrus characters found in Joiy.
This holiday season, try something new – like the Grilled Persimon Crostini with Manchego and Wine Reduction and pairing them with Joiy.
New Persimon recipe pics courtesy of persimonsays.com.