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Avocado Mousse with Persimmon-Apple Salsa

Avocado Mousse with Persimmon-Apple Salsa
  

I've been exploring some possibilities with persimmons lately, and so earlier this week I decided to try to put together a persimmon salsa. Part of my motivation was to find another way to take advantage of the presentation opportunities suggested by the glossy orange glow that seems to emanate from the fruit, as well as exploring how it can be combined with other ingredients. I poked around in the fridge and experimented with proportions and various ingredients and came up with what I think is a pretty interesting concoction. The main ingredients, besides the persimmon, are apples, tomatoes, shallots, cucumber, honey and cumin. Vinegar, salt and hot sauce played their supporting roles, of course. As expected, the salsa is as visually appealing as it is tasty, and with Spring in the offing the brightness of the dish seemed a welcome harbinger.

I paired this with an avocado mousse, developed by tweaking a recipe from Gourmet. Since  a mousse with avocado, whether made with whipped or sour cream, is going to be exceedingly rich, I kept the portion size on the small side and paired it with a green salad.

The results? I'm very happy with this. The avocado flavor comes through in the mousse and the salsa is complex, with the persimmon, honey, vinegar and cumin each bringing a distinct flavor note, and on the texture front, the crunch of the cucumber and apple made a nice counterpoint to the smooth slipperyness of the persimmon and the creaminess of the mouse. Overall, I think the pairing of the sweet-hot salsa with the rich, savory mousse was just about perfect. The fact that preparation is quick and easy (and can be done ahead of time, except for plating) is another plus.

This pairing can be served as a salad course or as a first course in an important Spring menu -- something to keep in mind with Easter only a month away.

Avocado Mousse with Persimmon-Apple Salsa

Serves 6.

For the mousse:

1 ripe Haas avocado
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/4 C water
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 C heavy cream
1 tsp lemon juice (or to taste)
1/2 tsp lemon zest, minced
1 tsp minced shallot
salt, hot sauce to taste

Mash the avocado with a fork and mix with the sour cream, heavy cream, lemon juice, zest and shallot. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed, being careful not to let the lemon overpower the avocado. Season to taste with salt and hot sauce. (For dishes to be served cold I slightly overseason.)

Place the water in a small cold saucepan. Sprinkle in the gelatin powder and allow to soften for a minute. Heat the gelatin and water gently, stirring until the gelatin is all dissolved. Stir into the avocado mixture.

Spoon the mixture into six oiled ramekins (each will be less than half full). Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the mousse and heat the bottom of the ramekin 30 seconds in simmering water, then place a chilled plate over the ramekin and invert them. Tap the ramekin sharply a couple of times to unmold the mousse. Serve immediately.

For the salsa:

2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 ripe persimmon, cored, peeled and chopped
2" seedless hot house cucumber, in 1/8" dice
1/2 medium shallot, minced
1/4 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and chopped
1 tsp freshly ground cumin seed
1 tsp hot sauce
salt, additional hot sauce to taste

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and honey until emulsified. Add the other ingredients and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and additional hot sauce. Ideally, make the salsa several hours to a day ahead and refrigerate, to allow the flavors time to combine. Serve at room temperature.

To serve, spoon the salsa over the mousse.

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Comments

You're right. I do like this. Damn, I really wish I had time to mess around in the kitchen now!

Beautiful! It looks so refreshing, a perfect meal for our hot days! Hugs,
M

This looks and sounds very interesting. I love avocado and am intrigued by the mousse! And this persimmon-apple salsa. I bet this would be excellent w/ mango too-- but I know, you're on a persimmon role. I'm just jealous that you can get good ones b/c I'm at a loss!

Where can you get a ripe persimmon in the springtime? Maybe at the supermarket, imported? Locally, they're only ripe in the Fall and early Winter..

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