Recently, I ordered a Caprese salad at a popular restaurant. I had a taste for the mild, milky flavor of fresh mozzarella cheese, and I desperately missed that summery duo: tomatoes and basil. The restaurant’s salad was delicious, but I began wondering how I could bring the Caprese salad “up-to-date” with the season? Was there a fruit/cheese pair as sweetly compatible as mozzarella and tomatoes?
After experimenting with the flavors and textures of persimmons and goat cheese, I learned that the two are a harmonious pairing. The sugary taste of a persimmon is most present at the peak of ripeness and beyond. Bite a persimmon before it’s fully ripe and your mouth will react to its astringency. I remember the sting of an unripe persimmon when I bit into one as a child.
Persimmon Goat Cheese Caprese_Ingredients
The American native variety of persimmons, Diospyros virginiana, grew in my family’s backyard in southern Alabama. As children, my siblings and I rarely ate the persimmons, using the fruits as ammunition during our childish war games. (Picture paintball with persimmons.) I feel guilty about having wasted this delicious and versatile fruit—even as a child—especially now that they are $5.99 per pound in my area. Persimmons and fresh goat cheese or Chèvre are, together, a pleasingly sweet and succulent, creamy and tangy taste.
Persimmon on Basil
And although it’s past season for fresh summer basil from the garden, most of us can still find it at the supermarket. The flavor of fresh basil, as with the traditional Caprese, is unparalleled. If you can find large basil leaves, use them to make an attractive and flavorful base for the persimmon slices and Chèvre coins (see photos). Drizzled with Litehouse Food’s Huckleberry Vinaigrette Dressing and you have a salad or dessert that is as bright and colorful as the holiday season.