Thanksgiving came early this year when Max came home from Japan in early October. And I celebrated early again, when last week I hosted wine and appetizers with another family. They usually join us a few hours before our Thanksgiving feast, but this year, they came a week early. Along with the delicious wines from Tablas Creek of California Central Coast, I served 2 seasonal appetizers. My favorite and beautiful persimmon goat cheese wedges with balsamic vinegar. For a very fancy look, boil down the balsamic vinegar until it is syrup and drizzle it over the top. This appetizer is quickly becoming a chef Debb fall season tradition. The lower appetizer is Prosciutto wrapped Fuji apples slices which was a new twist on the summer appetizer: Prosciutto e melone. These can also be made with still firm but ripe fall Bartlett pears. Both trays have been garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
Persimmon-Goat Cheese Wedges
1/2 cup salted roasted almonds, very finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
4 Fuyu persimmons, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
Aged balsamic vinegar, for serving
1. Using a mandolin, slice the persimmons crosswise into ¼ “ slices
2. Optional: Using a 2-inch round biscuit cutter, stamp out 12 rounds from the persimmon slices.
3. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of the almonds and the parsley with the goat cheese.
4. Divide the mixture into 6 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.
5. Sandwich each goat cheese ball between 2 persimmon slices, pressing to flatten slightly.
6. Roll the edges in the remaining almonds and refrigerate until firm, at least 10 minutes or overnight.
7. Cut each round into quarters and transfer to a plate. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar and serve.