November 21, 2012 |
If you're planning on a rich multi-course feast for the holidays (and why shouldn't you be?), it's probably a good idea to start it off with something light, crisp and fairly simple. This salad, from Times Food editor Russ Parsons, made with Fuyu persimmons, is just the thing. The recipe is demonstrated in the video at left by Russ Parsons. Persimmon salad is one of the favorite holiday recipes we've collected in our "Los Angeles Times Holiday Handbook. " The book shares more than 110 seasonal recipes to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah , Christmas and New Year's.
November 12, 2012 |
Come fall in Southern California, they are markers of the season: persimmons hanging on the tree, even as leaves are dropping. Some varieties can hold fruit until Christmas. Originating in China and cultivated extensively in Japan, the persimmon ( Diospyros kaki ) comes in thousands of varieties. They vary in taste, shape and ripening calendar, but for the backyard grower, the choice boils down to Fuyu and Hachiya. The former can be eaten right off the tree, ripening up as crisp and sweet as an apple once the round fruit gets more orange than yellow.
November 1, 2012 |
Dried persimmons, called hoshigaki , are an Asian winter delicacy, peeled and dehydrated whole by hanging the Hachiya fruit for several weeks and regularly hand-massaging them until their natural sugars form a delicate, dusty bloom on the surface that looks like snowy frost. Inside, the dried persimmons are tender and moist, their flavor concentrated. Japanese American farmers brought the traditional Japanese hoshigaki method to the U.S., but because the process is so labor-intensive, commercial production wasn't feasible.
October 13, 2012 |
There are two main families of persimmons and though they may share color and flavor, in the most important ways they couldn't be more different. Hachiya persimmons, the large acorn-shaped ones, need to be softened to an almost mousse-like texture before they are ready to eat. Approached too early, they are astringent and unpleasant, but when they are soft enough to spoon, they are luscious. Fuyu persimmons, which are small and squat, can be eaten crisp, and though their flavor will never be quite as unctuously sweet as a Hachiya, it is remarkably flexible.
May 26, 2012 |
Shrubs - they're not just for hiding in! Tart, acidic and weirdly, wonderfully refreshing, drinking vinegars known as "shrubs" are finding a savory home on a growing number of Los Angeles drink menus. Sometimes they're added to soda water as an alternative to mainstream sodas, and sometimes they're mixed with booze as a mouth-pleasing alternative to predictable acids such as lemons and limes. Either way, they're adding a welcome new dimension to the ever-evolving Los Angeles craft cocktail scene.
November 17, 2011
Thanksgiving dinner is an exercise in overkill. There are so many dishes, so much food, so many different flavors, so much richness. Getting off to the right start is important. What could be better than this light, crisp, slightly sweet and spicy salad from Russ Parsons that's based on the best of California's fall flavors: persimmons, walnuts and pomegranates? Even better, this dish is so simple to put together that you can safely hand it off to whoever's standing around the kitchen looking for something to do. It really is almost impossible to mess up. The one exception: It does have to be made within a couple of hours of serving or the cut persimmons will darken.