(Photo: Hmun)

This is one of those home-made treats that makes people take notice.

It adds just a little something special to a charcuterie or cheese platter. And it makes for an eye-opening host/hostess gift.

Now’s the time to get acquainted with “Pickled Persimmons.”

I shamelessly admit I got the idea for making these from Chef Bradley Ogden when I recently dined at his new Bradley’s Fine Diner in Menlo Park. His pickled persimmons accompanied slabs of country pate. The duo together was so good I practically couldn’t stop eating it.

I learned from Ogden only that he used vinegar and Fuyu persimmons (the squat variety that can be enjoyed while still crunchy unlike the Haichiya type that must be eaten only when squishy ripe).

So, I set out to make something similar. I used apple cider vinegar for its lovely fruitiness, as well as sugar, water and a cinnamon stick. A knob of ginger would also be a nice option if you want to add a little sweet heat.

Simmer the brine mixture until the sugar is dissolved, then pour it into a clean glass jar filled with sliced Fuyu persimmons. Best yet, the pickles are ready to eat the next day. How easy is that?

The persimmons soften and acquire a perky tang. Surprisingly, they also take on an almost apricot-like quality.

I served the pickled persimmons alongside my Thanksgiving turkey, and my family couldn’t stop talking about them.

They pickles are fantastic with just about any meat. Toss them into a veggie salad. Or mix into chicken salad for a sandwich. Or use as a garnish on seared shrimp or scallops.

The pickling turns the persimmons into something all together new and exciting.

So what are you waiting for? Pick the last ones from your tree or round up a few at the farmers markets, and get yourself into a pickle with persimmons.

Pickled Persimmons

(Makes about 1 quart)

  • 6-7 Fuyu persimmons
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Clean persimmons; peel and remove tops. Cut fruit into small, bite-size wedges. Place in a clean, quart-size mason jar.

In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the cider vinegar, water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Let come to a simmer, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.

Pour saucepan contents — including the cinnamon stick — into the jar of persimmons.

Allow to cool to room temperature before screwing the cap onto the jar and refrigerating.

The pickles are ready to eat the next day. They will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Note: Once you’ve eaten all the persimmon pickles, save the brine. It makes a great vinaigrette mixed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, minced shallots and a little Dijon mustard.

(Source: from Carolyn Jung)

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