Sick of the typical heirloom tomato mozzarella salad combo (aka Insalata Caprese)? Fear not, I've come up with a new twist to one of my classical Italian summer salad favourites. All it requires is a simple substitution of the tomatoes for the persimmon fruit. Like bright red tomatoes, the luscious orange glow from persimmons provides a sharp contrast when juxtaposed against the creamy whiteness of mozzarella cheese.
Persimmon via Wikicommons
Persimmons are one of those fruits that need to be caught at just the right moment of ripeness – ]limited to only one or two days – to truly offer a culinary experience of perfection.
Honey sweet and so soft that the skin can barely hold their juicy flesh, they make a perfect complement to Mozzarella di Bufala.
As for origins, this delicate fruit is native to China. From China, it spread to Korean peninsula and Japan very long time ago, and later was introduced to California during the middle of the 19th century.
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In terms of nutrition, persimmon provides a powerful dose of vitamin A, offering 55% of the daily value. Vitamin C runs a close second with 21% of your daily dose, plus excellent amounts of manganese, a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, for healthy mucous membranes and skin, as well as a known for its protective properties against lung and mouth cancers.
For those who aren't so regular, persimmons are also an excellent source of fiber. B-complex vitamins are present to stabilise the metabolic system, along with copper and phosphorus.
Persimmon Caprese Salad
Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 3-4 as a side
- 1 mozzarella ball
- 1 persimmon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
- Bunch of fresh basil
- A handful of walnuts
- Sprinkle of cumin and cinnamon
- Rip mozzarella ball into bite-size chunks. Slice persimmon into wedges and then into bite-sized chunks. Tear off the leaves of the fresh basil.
- Mix walnuts with the cumin and cinnamon spices in a small bowl. On medium-low heat, slowly pan fry the walnuts until golden brown. Remove from slow and let cool.
- Combine olive oil, balsamic and maple syrup in a small bowl.
- Layer the persimmon chunks, mozzarella and basil leaves on a plate in a rustic fashion. Sprinkle the spiced walnuts on top. Drizzle the olive oil balsamic mix on top. If desired, squeeze some aged balsamic vinegar on top in a zig zag fashion for an extra dose of balsamic sweetness.