Grilled Persimmon Wrapped In Speck

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Speck-Wrapped Grilled Persimmon

Speck-Wrapped Grilled Persimmon. This is one of those “on the menu” items that made me think “I could do that”. I saw the whole recipe in my head without even having to see the presentation. That’s partly because I’m a big Judy Rodgers fan. Not that I spied this tasty little tidbit at Zuni Cafe. No, the inspiration came from Local Kitchen + Wine Bar in Santa Monica, CA.

Still, I have to give the late Ms. Rodgers some of the credit because it was her opinion (in her 2002 cookbook) that speck is to persimmon as prosciutto is to fig that convinced me this grilled persimmon recipe couldn’t help but be a winner.

Speck or Prosciutto

Which might be slicing the pig a little too closely for some folks. After all, at its most elemental speck is prosciutto that is laced with spices like juniper and bay leaves and then smoked and/or dry-aged. You can see how the spice would work nicely with persimmon and the salt cure typical to prosciutto would be better suited to a sweeter, more succulent fruit such as fig.

Still, the internet is littered with folks who think otherwise. Google the combination of “persimmon and prosciutto” and you’ll find plenty of cheerleaders – though not too many of these examples feature grilled persimmon. So I’ve got that going for my version.

I did find an Aida Mollenkamp recipe at Food52 for Speck-Wrapped Persimmons. Though her version is not grilled it does prove that I’m not the only cook out there who still reads The Zuni Cafe Cookbook as if it were gospel. GREG

Speck-Wrapped Grilled Persimmon
Grilled Persimmon Wrapped In Speck
Speck-Wrapped Grilled Persimmon

Grilled Speck-Wrapped Persimmon

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 12-18Source Inspired by Local Kitchen + Wine Bar, Santa Monica, CAPublished
Grilled Speck-Wrapped Persimmon

Ingredients

  • 2-3 ripe but firm fuyu persimmons
  • 12-18 slice speck (or smoked prosciutto)
  • aged balsamic vinegar (for drizzlling)
  • the delicate tips of fresh fennel fronds (roughly chopped)

Directions

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.

Meanwhile, on a clean work surface trim each persimmon lightly on the top and bottom then peel each one carefully. Cut the peeled persimmons lengthwise into 6 or more wedges, depending on size.

Fold a slice of the speck in half lengthwise then carefully wrap it snugly around a persimmon wedge leaving the persimmon exposed on two sides. Secure the speck with a toothpick if you like. Repeat with remaining persimmons and speck.

Carefully oil the grates of the hot grill. Place the wrapped persimmons wedges on the grates and cook, turning often, until the speck is charred and crisp and the persimmon is hot and tender. Transfer to a serving platter.

While still hot, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped fennel fronds. Serve immediately.