Please enjoy this guest blog post from Kimberly Toureiro a.k.a @KitchenSprout. Have you ever had persimmons on pizza? After checking out this recipe that’s suitable for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, I think you’ll want to give it a try!
Behold! The rare jewels of Spain; precious Persimons! From Ribera del Xuquer their harvest commences in the fall, and are available in limited quantities and for a limited time, from October until January only. Persimon branded persimmons, like the tomato, are not properly considered to be “berries”, but in terms of botanical morphology, the fruit is in fact a berry. This fruit is of the “Diospyros” family, which is a genus of 700 species of evergreen trees, shrubs and small bushes. The word “Diospyros” comes from the ancient Greek words “dios” and “pyros” and when translated means “divine fruit” or “divine food” – on first bite I will attest to the accuracy of the description of this obscure gem!
The characteristics of the “Persimon” from Ribera del Xuquer differ from other persimmon varieties. They are:
1) Bright orange and tend to be larger and longer
2) Are firm and ready to eat (unlike other persimmon varieties, which must be consumed when they are soft)
3) Are not astringent (bitter) thanks to a naturally occurring ripening process
4) Have a sweet, delicate flavour similar to a peach or a mango
Persimon del Xuquer were given the name, Persimon, intentionally spelled with one “m” and were given a registered trademark. Persimon was also granted a “Denomination of Origin” designation by the Spanish government. This highly coveted quality seal is the only one existing in the world for a persimmon fruit variety and is recognized by the European Union.
I was requested to participate in a Persimon blogger program in late December, whereby I received a case of Persimons from Ribera del Xuquer. In the basket there were five simple and enticing recipes for me to choose from, varying from snacks, mains and dessert. I choose to have a Christmas gathering of six people and I decided to take my guests on a journey to “Espana Autentica” – this provided me with a platform to not only enlighten my guests about this “divine fruit” but to demonstrate the ease of creating any of these seductive dishes. The choice was Persimon and Chorizo Pizza; this particular recipe accommodates both meat eaters as well as vegetarians, as the chorizo can be replaced with soy-based pepperoni. Choosing the pizza ensured crowd involvement, so that each one them could modify their own pizza to their desired tastes. Needless to say everyone loves pizza! It has become an international staple for the young and old, and from culture to culture.
Admittedly the sumptuous persuasion to attempt this dish was predicated on the actual and exotic combination of flavors to be found therein. Trending with “social media” lingo for “foodies” it ranks high on the “foodporn” and “mouthgasm” scale. It possesses spicy, tangy, sweet and savory all in one sensual bite. Leonardo DaVinci was once quoted as saying “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Perhaps he had just indulged upon this very meal! Enough of the foreplay of this gastronomic adventure, let’s get to the ingredients and steps of creating this alluring pizza.
500g pizza dough
2 Persimons, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup thinly sliced spicy chorizo or soy-based pepperoni
1/2 cup shaved Manchego cheese
2 tsp balsamic glaze
2 cups baby arugula
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425F
On a lightly oiled work surface divide dough in half. Roll and stretch to form either rectangles or circles. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets.
Toss Persimon slices with lemon juice and arrange on dough, top with chorizo or soy-based pepperoni slices.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with shaved cheese and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Toss arugula with oil, salt and pepper and scatter on pizzas just before serving.
PER SERVING (1/4 recipe or 1/2 pizza)
573 calories, 23g fat, 9g saturated fat, 46mg cholesterol, 1053mg sodium, 76g carbohydrates, 3g fibre, 12g sugars, 21g protein, %RDI: 20% calcium, 45% iron, 4% vitamin A, 60% vitamin C
In closing, I am honored to have been selected to participate in the Persimon blogger program; not only was it the perfect kick-start to the Christmas season, but made for a very informative and taste perceptive venture. My guests and myself, admittedly rookies, indulged in our first time making homemade pizza…scratch that one off the bucket list. The peppery arugula, once blended with the sweet Persimon, was a symphony for the taste buds, and then the music continued to play in the form of the tart balsamic, delicate cheese and spicy chorizo and soy-based pepperoni. Being a culinary writer, I am often approached as to where certain items are best prepared. Coincidentally last Saturday, I was asked which were my top 3 pizzas for 2014. Without reflection I immediately articulated “my house!” – the “divine fruit” Persimon, with its sweet suasion invigorated in all of us the joyful art of pizza making.
About Kimberly Toureiro @KitchenSprout
Guest blogger Kimberly Toureiro is an accomplished and accredited food writer and food enthusiast, published locally and internationally, who is passionate about all things culinary and wine related.
Raised in Newmarket, Ontario, Kimberly – better known as the Kitchen Sprout – has lived most of her life in the bustling and multi-cultural city of Toronto, having broadened her taste buds with international fare from an early age. Never having met a meal she didn’t appreciate or a bottle of wine she didn’t enjoy, Kimberly continues to explore the ever-changing world of food trends.
When not attending menu tastings or food-related events, Kimberly can be found at a local farmer’s market, selecting fresh ingredients for her next great at-home meal.