Though the time of plenty for persimmons has been drawing to a close for weeks, I managed to snap up a few at my local produce vendor last weekend. Sometimes I purchase fruit and produce simply out of respect for their color – kohlrabi for it’s vivid purple skin, pears for their pretty shade of gold-green, a bright, red cabbage, the list goes on. This persimmon purchase was no different. In fact, I actually don’t care for the fruit alone, as I find the sweet ones too sweet, and lacking in depth. But their color reminded me of bright orange curries, and they soon found themselves at the center of this dish. This could make for a lovely side, though my husband loved it as an entree.
When choosing the fruit for this dish, take care to purchase the sweet persimmons, as they come in a sour variety as well. If unsure of the flavor, check with your vendor before purchasing.
1 cup whole wheat pearl (Israeli) couscous, uncooked
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 cup cashews
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
Pinch of salt
Cook the pearl couscous according to package directions.
In the meantime, peel and de-seed your persimmons. The peelings can make an excellent smelling homemade enzyme cleaner, so utilize them in this way rather than composting them. Puree one of the persimmons using a food processor or blender, and dice the other two. Set them aside.
Gather the cumin and coriander seed and peppercorn and roughly grind them using a mortar and pestle.
Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil or ghee in a small saucepan. Stir in the spices, and cook (stirring continuously) until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and continue to cook until the onion is translucent. Add the pureed persimmon to the pan and cook until heated. Remove from the heat and add the mixture into the (now finished) cooked couscous. Transfer the couscous to a serving dish.
Without washing the pan, add the diced persimmon and cook over medium heat until they are heated and their color has taken on more depth. Place them on top of the couscous.
In the pan, warm the remaining ghee or olive oil over low heat and add in the cashews. Sprinkle on the cinnamon, and cook the cashews stirring continuously until the cashews just begin to brown. Remove from the heat, and add them to your couscous.