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Chocolate for Breakfast
Barbara Passino
Ground cherries are small fruit about half the size of a cherry but unrelated. They're covered with a papery husk, much like a tomatillo, but with a sweeter tangier taste, and grow in South America, Africa and all over the U.S., including our garden in Napa. Our friend Siga mentioned that he grew up with them in Fiji. Always on the lookout for an exotic recipe, I asked what Fijians did with them. He very carefully peeled one, placed it in the center of his palm, and then smacked himself in the forehead with it. Personally, I preterit in couscous. If you don't have access to them, they can be omitted from this recipe, and you could always smack yourself in the forehead with a grape instead.
Serves 6


• 5 tablespoons olive oil
• 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1/4 cup pine nuts

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup halved ground cherries (also called Cape gooseberries or physallis), optional
• 3 cups chicken stock

• 2 cups couscous
• 1 teaspoon salt
• A few grindings of fresh black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the spices, sugar and pine nuts and stir for a minute or two. Add the lemon juice, cilantro, fruit and stock. Bring to a boil.

Stir in the couscous and salt and pepper, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Stir occasionally with a fork. It will stay warm for half an hour.

When ready to serve, mound in a bowl and decorate with stripes of cinnamon.


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