*Guest Post by Natalie Taylor*
I confess: I’m a recipe girl. As in I like to follow recipes, especially if I’m using an ingredient for the first time. I don’t want to mess up the meal! So when I received a black box challenge asking me to create a recipe that features Persimon® – a fruit I’ve never had – it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. But I love a good cooking challenge (if you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll see that I have all kinds of food adventures), so I rolled up my sleeves and went to work in the kitchen…
Wait, what? A Persimon? What’s that?!
- Persimon® is a fruit hailing from Ribera del Xúquer, south of Valencia, Spain
- It looks like a tomato but tastes like a cross between a mango and a peach
- It’s seedless and pitless. No peeling required!
- The fruit is loaded with vitamins A and C plus tons of fibre
- Unlike the other brands of persimmon — which take weeks to ripen–Persimon® is ripe and ready to eat as soon as you take it home
- Persimon® are protected by the Denomination of Origin (D.O.) Ribera del Xúquer. This D.O. is the only designation in the world for a persimmon fruit variety and recognized by the European Union. Pretty legit!
I was sent a “black box” containing the following ingredients to incorporate into my recipe:
- Arroz (rice)
- Marcona Almonds
- Green Olives
- Rioja Wine
- Mahon (Drunken Goat) Cheese
- Iziazabal Cheese
- Olive Oil
I was also allowed to add a few of my own ingredients. For my dish, I decided on these:
- Red Onion
I wanted to create a recipe that was easy to make either as a side or main dish at dinner, but also something that would make a hearty and healthy lunch. I’m a big fan of grab-and-go items as well as “bowls” so I came up with a rice bowl recipe because I didn’t want to default to a paella (but will definitely be using the paella rice for some in the future!). I’m also a fan of using what’s in the fridge and making things as easy as possible, which is why this recipe is adaptable in the amounts or types of ingredients you use. Don’t like mushrooms, for example? Swap it with your favourite veggie! And if you decide to cook your chorizo in wine like I did, make sure to watch the pan carefully because wine caramelizes quickly and can burn! (I may have learned that the hard way!). The persimons were easy and simple to cook with. Not knowing the fruit, I love that it’s exotic and a great alternative to other fruits or veggies out there. Here’s the recipe I came up with:
Recipe: Textured Rice Bowl with Persimons
Serves: 2 full bowls as a meal or 4 as a side
Prep and cooking time: 45 minutes
Note: Feel free to play around with amounts of ingredients.
- 1-2 Persimons
- 1/2 cup Chorizo cut into quarters
- 1 cup Arroz (rice)
- 2 tbsp cup Marcona Almonds
- 2 tbsp Green Olives
- 1/4 cup Rioja Wine
- 1 tbsp Mahon (Drunken Goat) Cheese
- 1 tbsp Iziazabal Cheese
- 1/4 tsp Paprika
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1-2 handfuls of Spinach
- 1/4 cup Mushrooms
- 1-2 tbsp Dill
- 2 tbsp Red Onion
- 1 tbsp Honey
- Cook rice according to directions
- Add paprika to rice
- Cut/dice and lay out all of your ingredients (or mise en place)
- Cut your persimons into wedges
- Cook your chorizo: heat oil in a pan and add chorizo; add Rioja wine and honey; mix ingredients together. Remove and put in bowl
- Layer your rice bowl: add spinach to the bowl; add rice on top; then add cheeses, chorizo, red onion, mushrooms, marcona almonds and olives to the bowl
- Add persimons on top and garnish with dill
- Pour yourself a glass of that leftover Rioja (if you didn’t drink all of it after burning the chorizo the first time) and enjoy with your rice bowl
Watch the video below to see it all come together. Plus, Spanish music! Olé!
What I learned during this challenge is that it’s always fun to try new things in the kitchen. Cooking with Spanish ingredients and a fruit I’ve never tried helped me get creative. I encourage you to try this exotic fruit to jazz up your winter recipe or snack routine! (i.e. add it to your yogurt or cereal in the morning or eat it on its own) or to use it in a new recipe. Perhaps, a New Year’s resolution for 2017?
To learn more about persimons and for recipe inspiration, visit persimonsays.com and follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Join the conversation online via #tryapersimon and see what others are cooking!
This post is sponsored by persimonsays.com as part of their #TryAPersimon black box challenge. As always, all reviews and opinions are entirely our own.