Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Persimmon

Persimmon, sharon fruit, khaki, fuyu, date-plum - it's a fruit of many identities, but the only difference being the country it's grown in or the language you're speaking. They're grown predominantly in Asia nowadays, but can also be grown locally - with British grown persimmons dating back to 1629, albeit its 'exotic' reputation.

Depending on the type, they're either sweet straight from the tree, or have to be left to ripen until the inner flesh is soft and jelly-like. Either way, the flavour is sweet and unlike no other, the perfect autumn treat as we say goodbye to the summer berries and stone fruit. They're also high in antioxidants, particularly beta carotene, and have double the amount of dietary fibre as an apple - perfect for a healthy digestive tract. 

RECIPE IDEAS 

They work perfectly in both sweet and savoury, adding a new note to any previous classic, as well as making a great snack on their own. Here's our recipe favourites: 

- On the sweet side, they make the perfect addition to any bakes and cakes. We like to wait until they're really ripe, then puree the flesh and add to cookies or muffin recipes. 

- They're also a great brunch addition. Stew and add to the top of your porridge, pancakes or waffles. Or cut into small chunks and add to the pancake batter too. We like to add vanilla to the batter too, then top with toasted hazelnuts and coconut yoghurt. 

- Looking for something quick and easy? Simply cut the persimmons in half, drizzle with honey and broil (that's baking and grilling at the same time fyi) for 6-8 minutes. Serve with coconut yoghurt. 

- And on the savoury side, they're great in salads too. Simply slice (and grill if you want a warmer option) then add roast beets, watercress and a tangy apple cider dressing

- Making a roast? Add large slices of persimmon to the baking tray surrounding lamb or pork with red onion and garlic then bake and serve with the usual trimmings.