Before I had done any research on cooking with this fruit, I succumbed to the siren song of persimmons. I had never tasted one before but discovered that I loved it’s subtle sweetness and low acidity. The flesh is similar to a nectarine and the skin is thin but does peel easily. The best part of this sandwich, besides the flavor, is discovering a new food. I’ve seen lots of recipes involving persimmon in desserts and when I brought this fruit home, I really had no clue what my intention was going to be. With busy work weeks this past month, my goal was to keep things simple. This sandwich has great flavors for a meal done on the quick (assuming you can stock up on some of these items beforehand.) This sandwich is also pretty delicious with a side of sweet potato fries and a glass of Prosecco. —NakedBeet
What You'll Need
large onion, thinly sliced
slices of ciabatta loaf
thin slices of smoked ham
slices of goat gouda
of a Fuyu persimmon, peeled and thinly sliced
yuzu juice (optional)
champagne vinegar (optional)
Depending on the ripeness of the persimmon and your patience for eating it, you might discover that your little orange buddy has a slightly starchy aftertaste, similar to what you might experience with raw spinach leaves. If you do find this too disconcerting to ignore, I suggest adding this next step to your sandwich: soak the cut fruit in yuzu juice and vinegar and let sit for 2-5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the sandwich. The yuzu juice has a strong flavor on its own but paired with the sweet ham, it's perfect together.
While the persimmon slices are soaking, cook the onions until they just begin to caramelize. Smother each half of the sandwich with the basil pesto, layer some of the onions on one of the halves and the persimmon slices on the other half. Place 3-4 slices of ham and goat gouda in the middle. I don't have a panini press (I'm of the Alton Brown school of no uni-taskers) so I used a teapot filled with water as the weight, but maybe you have a brick lying around to get the sandwich pressed and heated, go ahead and use that instead.