Whilst doing my trip to the market this week I came across the humble Chinese Gooseberry being sold by the punnet load for next to nothing. This made me laugh; in the UK we pay extortionate prices for this fruit – which we call Physalis – it is often used to decorate pudding plates because of it’s pretty skin. I discovered that in Asia it is considered a wild fruit (much like the common blackberry in the UK) so it is picked and sold cheaply. The Chinese eat it for it’s health benefits such as helping to cure a sore throat.
But I wanted to try to make something different with it. So here you are – my easy Cous Cous with Chinese Gooseberries. Simple, naturally sweet and a little bit tangy. It only takes about 15 mins to prepare so it is an easy weeknight supper or a weekend lunch. Serve with hearty kale salad or mediterranean roasted chicken thighs.
Ingredients – serves 4 as an accompanying dish.
- 250grams of dry cous cous
- Boiling water to cover cous cous (approx one cup)
- One teaspoon of vegetable bouillon
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- One cup of chinese gooseberries
- 150 grams of feta cheese
- 1/4 cup of pinenuts
- A handful of lemonmint (normal fresh mint will work if you cannot get lemonmint)
- One Tablespoon of Zaartar
- Juice of half a lemon
- Freshly ground Salt and Pepper to taste
- Add your dry cous cous to a medium sized mixing bowl (ensure that the bowl is at least twice the size of the volume of your cous cous because once your cous cous cooks it will swell and need space for this).
- Stir in the vegetable bouillon powder and one tablespoon of olive oil
- Now pour over enough boiling water to just cover the cous cous, cover with a plate and leave the cous cous to steam and cook itself. This will take about 10 mins.
- Whilst your cous cous is cooking, take the leaves off your gooseberries, wash and chop into halves.
- Wash the lemonmint and roughly chop it.
- Gently toast your pinenuts by placing them in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until they are golden.
- By now your cous cous should be cooked, take the plate off the bowl and check if the grains are light and fluffy. Use a fork to gently separate the grains and bring air into the mix.
- Now all your gooseberries, pinenuts, lemonmint and mix thoroughly.
- Add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and give a good stir to make sure everything is fully dressed.
- Transfer into a serving dish and crumble the feta on top.
- Sprinkle with the zaartar and a little more olive oil to finish.
- You can eat it warm straight away or chill it and enjoy it as a cold salad.