If there’s one chef who has always really represented seasonal cooking to me, it’s Suzanne Goin, chef-owner of LA’s Lucques and A.O.C. The combo of persimmon and pomegranate shows up in both Sunday Suppers at Lucquesand A.O.C. Cookbook and that was the inspiration for this week’s FridayNightSlice — a Delicata squash flatbread topped with persimmon, pomegranate and a little blue cheese.
Here’s the thing about persimmons. In a Japanese household, drying Hachiya persimmons is a winter tradition. Our Auntie Mary used to send boxes of hoshigaki down around the holidays, and to a kid, there’s nothing weirder than dried, chewy brown fruit that looks like it’s started to mold. The powdery white bloom on them is actually sugar. While I don’t know that I’ve changed my mind about hoshigaki, I can say, I’ve turned a corner on persimmons in general.
The more tear-shaped Hachiya need to ripen until very soft and that texture has never been my thing. People call it “custard-like” but I’ve found with a lot of fruit, when you try to describe a mushy texture as custard-like, there’s something lost in translation. No matter how you try to convince yourself, it’s not actually like a pudding.
The other major commercially available variety, the Fuyu, is where it’s at for those not totally sure about persimmons. The fruit, which looks more like a tomato, will be firm when ripe. Go for the ones with a deep, even orange color. It will be sweet with a slight brown sugar-like flavor, which plays well with the slight sweet-tartness of the pomegranate. It’ll change your mind.
Delicata Squash Flatbread w/ Pomegranate & PersimmonPrint Recipe
- 1 pizza dough ball (from a batch of Kenji's NY Style Pizza dough - http://bit.ly/KJNYdo)
- 1 ~1 lb. delicata squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch rings
- 1 T. olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1/3 c. pomegranate arils
- ~ 1/3 c. finely diced fuyu persimmon
- 2 T. finely diced Asian pear (optional)
- 2-3 T. crumbled blue cheese
- 2 T. chopped cilantro
One hour before baking, take dough out of the refrigerator and let sit on the counter.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Toss delicata squash in a medium bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until a knife slides in easily.
In a small bowl, mix together persimmon, pomegranate arils and Asian pear, if using.
Turn oven up to 550F.
Stretch pizza dough into a ~12 inch x 6 inch rectangle.
Arrange squash slices in rows on the dough with an eye to how they'll slice into individual squares.
Bake for 4-5 minutes until the crust is browned.
Let cool for 1-2 minutes, then top with persimmon-pomegranate mixture. Dot with blue cheese crumbles and cut into squares.