Photographs by (left to right) Ruta Elvikyte & Christopher Shane
October 29, 2014
Charleston Grill’s Michelle Weaver shares her recipe for persimmon chutney WritTen by Marion Sullivan
An Alabama native, Michelle Weaver didn’t taste a persimmon until she moved to Charleston, but she’s since fallen for the flat-bottomed Asian Fuyu variety of the fruit. “Fuyus start off bright orange and hard; they can be eaten like an apple at this stage,” says the Charleston Grill chef. “But as they ripen, their color becomes a rich pumpkin orange, and you get crunchy, succulent bites. When completely soft, they are sweet like honey with undertones of pears and dates.”
She likes using Fuyus to make chutney because their dense flesh retains color and shape when cooked. “The ginger, cinnamon, and anise remind me of chutneys I grew up having at holiday time. The sweetness of the raisins and the acidity of the vinegar balance well with the punch of the spice.” Try Weaver’s recipe below, and serve the chutney on a cheese plate, she advises, or paired with roast pork or grilled salmon.
(Makes 4 cups)
4 ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded, and diced small
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1/2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-size Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Reduce the heat to low and cook, continuing to stir regularly, until the chutney begins to thicken, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve or cool to room temperature, place in a container, cover, and refrigerate. The chutney will keep up to four days in the refrigerator and can be served hot or cold.