My Food Journey

Persimmon Crazy!

I’m a little Persimmon crazy these days. They’re just starting to come into their own – the season will last at least another couple months. So many people think they don’t like Persimmons because they’ve only had them unripe. An unripe Hachiya is so astringent that your face won’t return to a normal expression for a good 5 minutes after eating it. Ripe, however, they are one of the sweetest fruits around. I guess I’m weird for liking the ‘ooey gooey goodness that is a ripe Hachiya Persimmon. You can just suck it out of the skin like pudding! The photo above is from Wikipedia. It captures the color and texture pretty well. I think a large part of the charm of these fruits is their color – it’s the same as pumpkin, but even deeper and more intense. Just what we need during these dark late autumn days!

This is another Persimmon picture from Wikipedia. It’s a Fuyu tree in Japan. The Fuyu are the most popular persimmons because they’re sweet and tasty even when they’re hard. You can eat them crunchy like an apple, but I prefer to wait until they’re almost as gooey as a Hachiya – there’s so much more intensely persimmony sweetness that way.

Back to my own kitchen now. Tonight we had a wild dinner – literally. The main ingredients were Scallops from the sea, Mushrooms from the woods, and Wild Green Onions from our yard.

Here are the Green Onions. They are incredibly annoyingly invasive plant here. They come up when it rains in the fall, bloom in the late winter/early spring, and die back in the summer. They’re pretty and good to eat, but boy are they hard to get rid of! I was weeding these out of a flower bed today and I snagged some of the “weeds” for dinner.

This is a Porcini mushroom that I bought at the farmers market this morning. I’m not sure where it was picked – somewhere nearby for sure. It’s really a nice one. It was one of the #3 grade mushrooms which were priced lower than the #1 and #2’s. This one looks pretty good though – no bugs living in the cap – that’s always a plus! It was $7.00/lb, and it weighed exactly a pound. $7.00 for such a big beautiful mushroom seemed like a deal – they’re usually a minimum $14.00/lb.

These are Chantrelles that I bought at the Co-op on Friday. They smelled fruity and spicy, had a vibrant golden color, and beautiful shape – all good signs! They were picked somewhere up in the Hoopa Indian Reservation by Larry Alameda, the best mushroom hunter around. He almost seems to have a mystical connection to the mushroom world…..

Here’s the completed dish. First, I started the pasta water boiling. I cooked the stem of the Porcini with the scallops in white wine, olive oil and butter. I added a zucchini, garlic, the Porcini caps and the Chantrelles and cooked it all for just a minute or two. I combined the scallop/mushroom mixture to the drained vegetable rotilli which was just done cooking and added the diced Green Onions, Sundried Tomatoes, a little more Butter, Salt, and Pepper. We ate it with grated Romano Cheese on top. Mmmmm…… The Porcini was especially delicious – melt in your mouth delectable. It’s good that it’s so good – we have tons of left overs. Oh how I love left overs!

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