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Tag: persimmons

Grilled Persimmon, Ham and Cheese Sandwich with Basil

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Cheese sandwiches have long been one of my favourite lunchtime snacks. The most basic version features dark German bread, thin slices of young hard cheese, cucumber, salt, and crushed pepper, you could call it my first sandwich creation, born in my early childhood days. But over the years I got a little more experimental: various fruits sneaked in to add their sweetness to ripe cheese, soft cheese, or blue cheese. Mozzarella di Bufala or ricotta are great to bring in some creaminess, and sometimes, I like to take whatever herb or vegetable my eyes catch in the kitchen and turn it into a runny pesto or smooth dip to dollop lusciously on a crusty bun.

When Leerdammer asked me to create a cheese sandwich for them, I decided to go back to my sandwich roots and think about what a great sandwich should be. I always say that I prefer to focus on a few strong flavours rather than distract my taste buds with too many ingredients. It’s all about the right play of contrast and harmony, in taste and texture. I like Leerdammer for its mild and nutty taste, it’s almost sweet, and it melts fantastically under the broiler. A grilled ham and cheese sandwich felt like the perfect choice but another German sandwich classic came to mind: Toast Hawaii. This child-pleasing creation was a hit in my early sandwich years, pineapple and ham covered in cheese on a slice of toast and grilled. People loved it, including myself. I like pineapple but the market has far more to offer at the moment, so I went for honey-sweet persimmon. The fruit has to be ripe and soft as jelly, in combination with the ham and melted cheese, it almost felt like jam, or a chutney without the sourness. A few basil leaves sprinkled on top give it the spring feeling that I crave so much and make this sandwich feel light and fresh. Follow #wirkäsebroten for more delicious sandwich recipes made with Leerdammer cheese!

You’ve seen many sandwiches on my blog for my Sandwich-Wednesday series, but there has never been a giveaway competition – this is a premiere! Leerdammer gave me five of their cute and robust metal sandwich boxes that are perfect to wrap up your sandwich safely for your next city picnic or lunch break. If you’d like to be the lucky owner of one of them, send me an email (eatinmykitchen@eatinmykitchen.meikepeters.com) or leave a comment at the bottom of this post and share your favourite cheese sandwich combination with me. Tell me about your secret ingredient, it can be a fruit, meat, sauce, anything you like. I’ll get in touch with you as soon as we have 5 winners. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Leerdammer and reminded me of a childhood favourite of mine. Thank you! 

6th April: The competition is now closed. Thank you for all your delicious ideas!

Grilled Persimmon, Ham, and Cheese Sandwich

 

grilledpersimmonhamcheesesandwich4.2

Grilled Persimmon, Ham and Cheese Sandwich with Basil

Makes 2 sandwiches

rustic white buns, cut in half, 2
ham 4 thin slices
large ripe persimmon, peeled and torn into chunks, 1
Leerdammer cheese 4-6 thick slices
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
fresh basil leaves 6

Set the oven to broiler or preheat to the highest temperature.

Divide the ham between the bottoms of the buns. Lay the persimmon on top and cover with the cheese. Grill the sandwich in the oven until the cheese starts melting and sizzling, mind that the cheese doesn’t burn or slip off the fruit. Sprinkle the grilled cheese with crushed pepper and basil, close the bun, and enjoy.

Grilled Persimmon, Ham, and Cheese Sandwich

 

Grilled Persimmon, Ham, and Cheese Sandwich

 

grilledpersimmonhamcheesesandwich1.2

 

grilledpersimmonhamcheesesandwich13

 

grilledpersimmonhamcheesesandwich12

Bitter Endive and Radicchio Salad with sweet Persimmons

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

Since I bought my first persimmons at a farmer’s market in Paris many, many years ago I have been hooked on this fruit. Back in those days I wasn’t familiar with how to eat this orange ball of sticky juiciness so I made quite a mess. It was worth it! The rich sweetness that feels like jellied honey in the mouth was an overwhelming experience of taste I would never forget. Since then, I always look forward to this delicate fruit’s season in the winter months. I only buy them when they are very ripe to enjoy their qualities and I prefer sharons, a certain kind of persimmons from Israel. A couple days ago I spotted a few that were so soft that their skin almost burst. Persimmons are a bit like figs, best when they are close to becoming mousse right in your hands, but if you handle them with care they will reward you with the nicest aroma a fruit can offer!

The sharon has so much natural sweetness, they can easily deal with some bitter flavours. I chose endive (chicory) and radicchio for my light Monday salad, both not particularly shy vegetables which I always buy organic as they still have have their distinct bitterness. Combine the red and pale leaves with the ripe fruit and you’ll have a real firework of aromas in your mouth. This bittersweet combination goes with the seasons, soft vineyard pears in autumn, bright red strawberries in summer, or my glowing persimmons in January. The dressing is also more on the sweet site, some olive oil whisked with orange juice, white Balsamico vinegar and maple syrup to balance out the tart leaves. Heavenly!

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 Endive and Radicchio Salad with Persimmons

For 2 people you need

endive (chicory) 1
radicchio 3 large leaves
sharon (or any other ripe and soft persimmon), peeled and cut into bite sized pieces, 1

For the dressing
olive oil 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tablespoon
white Balsamico vinegar 1 tablespoon
maple syrup 1 teaspoon
salt and pepper

Tear the endive and radicchio leaves into pieces and arrange them with the persimmon on a plate. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing, season to taste and sprinkle on top of the salad.

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

 

Endive, Radicchio and Persimmons Salad

Persimmons, Mozzarella di Bufala, Prosciutto di Parma and Basil

Persimmon, Mozzarella and Basil

Whenever I spot ripe persimmons at the market, honey sweet and so soft that the skin can barely hold their juicy flesh, you can be sure that I’l buy a box full of them. It’s one of those fruits that, when you catch the right moment of ripeness which is often limited to only one or two days they offer a culinary experience of perfection. All I need is a spoon to scoop out their luscious deliciousness and I’m happy! There are a few fruits which demand such perfect timing for satisfying consumption, avocados for sure, mangos and kiwis too, but if you succeed, it’s a food memory saved for a lifetime. One of the best I ever had was in Paris, I bought two persimmons, so soft that they almost slipped out of my hands as I enjoyed them. Eating them was a mess but tasting them was a pure pleasure!

I felt so lucky when I found persimmons that reached that exact state and I knew I would have to eat them that very day to enjoy them to the fullest. I tore them into large, juice dripping chunks and mixed them on a plate with some soft Mozzarella di Bufala and thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma. I finished off this truly heavenly composition with a few basil leaves and a sweet dressing made of white Balsamico vinegar and maple syrup. It was so perfect that both of us were just speechless and savoured in silence!

Persimmon, Mozzarella and Basil

 Persimmons, Mozzarella di Bufala, Prosciutto di Parma and Basil

For 2 people you need

very ripe and soft persimmons, peeled and torn into chunks, 2
Mozzarella di Bufala, drained and torn into chunks, 125g / 4.5 ounces
thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele, 8
olive oil 2 tablespoons
white Balsamico vinegar 1 tablespoon
maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon plus more to taste
salt and pepper
fresh basil leaves, a small handful

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the persimmons, mozzarella and prosciutto on 1 or 2 plates and sprinkle with the dressing and basil leaves.

Persimmon, Mozzarella and Basil

 

Persimmon, Mozzarella and Basil

 

Persimmon, Mozzarella and Basil

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