Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I got these small paper lanterns from a grocery store recently. They came in a green berry basket and it was sitting next to blueberries and raspberries. I had no idea what I was going to do with them besides maybe hanging them across the living room and put midget lamps inside.
Okay, I’m kidding, but I’m not kidding about the random encounter and not knowing what they were.
Once I got home, I curiously broke open one of the paper husks. Instead of a piece of chocolate, there was a blueberry-sized, bright orange and perfectly round fruit inside. I picked it up from the stem, rinsed it with water and popped it in my mouth. Let me tell you, it was not what I expected. It wasn’t a gooseberry. Um… actually, it wasn’t even a berry.
Imagine a tiny cherry tomato with much less acidity, but is sweeter and has a bunch of tiny edible seeds inside. Apparently Cape Gooseberry originally comes from South America but was cultivated in Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and was given the name “Cape Gooseberry.”
Since it’s indigenous to South America, it makes sense to pair with other South American ingredients or sauces such as chimichurri. Conveniently, we had a plenty leftover rotisserie chicken from the night before, I didn’t have to fuss with choosing and cooking meat this time. All I had to do was to make chimichurri, which took no time at all and it was actually fun. The homemade bread on the other hand, took several hours of patience but very little work. I wouldn’t have made the bread if it was during the week.
I loved that this random encounter at a grocery store turned into making a simple, delicious and healthy dish that I would otherwise never even thought of. I now have enough ingredients to make 10-20 more servings of cape gooseberry chimichurri. Any thoughts on what else I should use it for?
Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):
1 c fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 fresh Cape gooseberries
1/2 c EV olive oil
1/3 c wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 tsp dried crushed red pepper (adjust the amount according to your preference of spiciness)
Add chopped Italian parsley, cilantro and garlic into a mortar. Using a pestle, crush and pound the ingredients until the volume is reduced by at least half. Add Cape gooseberries and continue to pound. Add rest of the ingredients, grind, and mix until the mixture becomes a runny paste.
If you are using a food processor, add all ingredients into the food processor. Puree into a paste.