Persimmons. A totally underrated fruit. And all too rare here in Tennessee (at least, I haven’t seen much of them).
I remember going through a persimmon phase when we lived in California, and it was there that we first created this dish for Thanksgiving, years ago during our BB (before blog) era (related: if Thanksgiving falls and it is not blogged, did it ever really happen?) I kid, of course, but I am sure there were many recipes lost and forgotten because of the lack of a blog on which to record it.
When I saw a pile of (somewhat sad-looking, admittedly) persimmons at the market, I realized that it had been years since I’d had the fruit and I had missed it, dearly. I quickly crawled out of my nostalgia, threw a half-dozen of the least-bruised fruits into a bag, and decided to recreate that original dish for this year’s feast.
Let me just say that the contrast of the crunchy green beans and soft, creamy persimmon was ideal, bringing a perfect element of sweetness to an otherwise boring bowl of sauteed beans. Not to mention the color and brightness they brought to a primarily beige plate… dare I say they stole the show?
If you’ve never had a persimmon… it’s hard to describe. Sweet and mild in flavor, somewhere in between a pumpkin and a mango, with the smooth, almost custardy texture of a ripe apricot, in the guise of an orange tomato. They come in two main varieties: fuyu (pictured) are more suitable for slicing and sauteing, and hachiya, which are softer and more tart and most often used for baking.
We did not peel ours, and whether you do is completely up to you, but I will say that the fruit would have been much more enjoyable without the tough skin. Cooking the skin longer would probably help, but the soft flesh would be long gone at that point. As such I highly recommend making the extra effort to peel them beforehand.
Apparently (after consulting the all-powerful Google) persimmons DO grow in Tennessee, quite readily actually, and oh how I’d love to find a local source.
Um, anyone have a tree I can come raid? I’ll pay in baked goods and jam.
Sauteed Green Beans with Persimmons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 pound thin green beans or haricot verts, trimmed
- 5 fuyu persimmons, hulled, peeled (recommended), and sliced
- salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add green beans and toss until coated in oil. Cover and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until beans are bright green but just underdone, stirring occasionally.
Add persimmon slices and stir to combine. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until beans are tender and persimmons are softened (time will vary depending on the size of your beans). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
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I’m so glad I stumbled upon this on Pinterest! I just discovered we have a fuyu persimmon tree in our yard here just south of Nashville and I haven’t the first clue what to do with them. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe out with the green beans I grew this summer. Thanks!
Our friend’s mother in law lives in California and sent her a box of them. She made a delicious skillet cake with some. So good! I don’t think I’d had a persimmon before that!
I had my first persimmons last week! They are the strangest looking things, I kept thinking they were funny looking tomatoes. But, man are they good!! Beautiful side dish right here, perfectly paired flavors! Love it!
Oh yum, this looks simply delicious :)
Just chiming in to say that I think your description of a persimmon is so perfect. Will be directing unknowing folks here from now on so they can figure out what the taste + texture will be like before trying them!
Our next door neighbor has a persimmon tree and is nice enough to let us pick a few during the fall. This dish looks wonderful.
I had a persimmon for the first time the other day. Our lab tech gets them from the Chinese grocery here. Pretty good!
I wish I saw this recipe earlier! Someone gave me a whole bunch of persimmons last month, which I have never had before. I didn’t care for the taste or texture, but this sounds like a great recipe to try them in.
I’ve had so few persimmons in my life! I just don’t see them in the East Coast all that often–but you described them perfectly. Seriously, couldn’t think of a better description.
This looks like such a great dish! Very creative :)
I have never tried a persimmon! But, the way you described them sounds deeeevine. I gotta get me some. Sauteed green beans are a staple in my household – looks like I have a new friend to invite to the party!
What a stunning recipe! I love green beans and would never have thought to combine them with persimmons, but I bet theta they’re delicious. And they look wonderfully vibrant.
This is my go-to favourite green bean recipe is with olives and tomatoes, I blanch the beans lightly and then roast them with the other bits for 15 mins or so in the oven:
Next time, I will have to try it with beautiful orange persimmons!
That combination sounds fabulous. I actually think this dish would be great roasted as well as sauteed, I’ll have to try that if I manage to get my hands on some more persimmons.
Persimmon is seriously my #1 fave fruit in the whole world. Period. And even in sunny San Diego where everything grows year round, the persimmon can be horribly beat up. And I paid 1.99 each for some earlier in the season. Had to have them :) And the season here is short, too. I didn’t know you lived in CA?!
This dish is full of awesome contrasts – love it!
We went to school out in Northern CA. :) Moved to Nashville about 7 years ago.