Persimmon Rosemary Balsamic Vinegar

 Persimmons and Figs

Persimmons and Figs

Late afternoon last Wednesday, I headed over to Schlafly Farmers Market so I could get my hands on some fresh figs while they're still in season.  I felt exhilarated the moment I stepped out of my car onto the lot.  The sun was shining, there was a warm gentle breeze blowing, and scents of coffee teasingly brushed by me. 

Schlafly's farmers market is somewhat smaller than the farmers market I normally go to in Ferguson, but it offers a stellar selection of fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, cheeses, eggs, and flowers.  When searching for the fig vendor, I was stopped by a kaleidoscopic arrangement of heirloom tomatoes.  I couldn't resist and ending up buying one large red, one large yellow, and two small green striped varieties.  Of course I made another tomato galette, my favorite way to eat tomatoes!  After I cleared the tomato stand, I was tempted to go to the coffee stand which was selling cold pressed coffee which smelled heavenly but, I stayed the course and made my way to  Ivan's fig stand.  

There were 3 people in line ahead of me, which allowed me time to decide what I wanted to get.  I thought I was going to get one box of assorted figs, but then I saw something I didn't recognize.  The fruit was small {about 2 inches wide by 1 inch high}, thin skinned, and its color varying from light brown to almost apricot.  I asked Ivan, "what are these?" and he told me, "persimmons".  He handed me one to try, thankfully with a napkin, and cautioned me of the seeds.  The taste of a persimmon is like a date or apricot.  It's very sweet and sticky and contains anywhere from 3 to 5 seeds, about the size of a pumpkin seed, but much harder.  So, I thought, why not give these a try too?  

After I brought my goodies home, I pondered on how to use the persimmons.  They are almost too sweet to eat on their own, and challenging too due to the seeds.  I wanted to capture the essence of the fruit without having the mess of actually eating the persimmon.  That lead me to making a flavored balsamic vinegar.  

When selecting a balsamic vinegar to flavor, I would suggest a 'mid-grade' vinegar which aged at least 6 months versus the high quality Aceto Balsamico which is aged a minimum of 12 years.  If you are going to spend your hard earned money on the premium balsamic vinegar, you don't want to alter its taste.  Stay away from the super cheap balsamic vinegars in clear plastic bottles, they'll taste like white vinegar {yuck!} and contain artificial colorings and thickeners.

 Fig and ricotta with a persimmon rosemary balsamic vinegar reduction

Fig and ricotta with a persimmon rosemary balsamic vinegar reduction

After making the persimmon rosemary balsamic vinegar reduction, I drizzled it over a fresh fig with ricotta.  So simple, yet good.   That's something I can give thanks for!  Here's to good food and gladness!

CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe.

Ingredients for Persimmon Rosemary Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 bottle of balsamic vinegar
  • 5 persimmons
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • pinch of salt

Directions for Persimmon Rosemary Balsamic Vinegar

  1. Pour entire bottle of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan.  Place over medium heat. 
  2. Add persimmons, salt, and rosemary.  Using a fork, smash down the persimmons.  Cook over medium-low heat until volume reduces by 1/4 to 1/2 depending on the desired thickness.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.  Transfer to a bottle, preferably dark colored.  Store in refrigerator up to 30 days.