Had a quiet day at home today with the Mister, reading and lazing about. We decided to invent a way to use up the excess of persimmons that my family has been receiving from a neighbor with a producing tree (the "hachiya" variety, which are nearly impossible to use unless they are near-rotten) and our results ended up fantastic. Here's our new (and highly successful) recipe...
Persimmon Tilapia on a Salad of Fennel and Fresh Herbs
For the salad:
Roughly chop a head of fennel into fork-manageable pieces, along with a handful of fresh herbs (we used basil, cilantro, and flat-leaf parsley). Toss together and dress very lightly with olive oil.
For the tilapia:
Dress fillets with a little garlic-infused olive oil (or just plain), some lemon zest, a little bit of lemon juice (no more than a half-teaspoon per fillet) and some fresh chopped fennel fronds. Bake at 400° F for about ten minutes, add a couple teaspoons of butter, then bake for five more minutes. We put it under the broiler for two minutes at the end, but this is optional.
For the persimmon sauce:
Start by melting 1 tbs butter in a pan over medium. Add about 1 tsp brown sugar, and let it melt. Add 2 tbs hachiya persimmon flesh (very ripe) and 1 clove minced garlic. Turn the heat down to medium-low to let the garlic soften, and andd a pinch each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and cayenne pepper, and a smidgen (maybe 1/2 tsp red-wine vinegar). Let cook down, then add 2-3 tbs white wine (we used a Bogle chardonnay). Finish with 1-2 more tbs of butter.
Lay the tilapia fillets on a bed of the fennel salad, drizzle with the persimmon sauce, and enjoy with some rice and/or crusty bread with a hard white cheese!