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Thanksgiving side dish: Cranberry persimmon couscous

Couscous with the flavors of fruit and spices make this an easy and elegant side dish for Thanksgiving.

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    Persimmon and dried cranberry combine to add a fruity flavor to a couscous side dish.
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Sometimes there are those serendipitous moments when recipes happen. In this case it was my husband bringing home a persimmon from a fruit plate at work. I knew I needed to use it soon so as not to waste it, since they are best when firm.

I thought about making rice, sort of a fruity take on wild rice. But as the moment approached, my thoughts of rice turned to couscous, since couscous is quick and simple. And many times I have eaten couscous with a bit of spice and various fruits like raisins, so this became the “idea du jour” to use up that persimmon.

I know there aren’t a whole lot of recipes out there for persimmons, except maybe persimmon pudding. Some of you may never have even tried this lovely fruit, not knowing what to do with it. But they are quite good, and make a nice addition to recipes like this one. I do hope you give it a try, and expand your repertoire of fruit dishes for the autumn months in quick and simple fashion.

Recommended: Thanksgiving recipes: 20 ideas

Cranberry persimmon couscous
Serves 4-5

1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 firm fuyu persimmons, chopped
1 cup pearl couscous
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and black pepper
1 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Saute onion in olive oil until translucent.

2. Stir in the ginger root, garlic, and persimmons and cook until onion is soft.

3. Add couscous and stir until couscous is lightly browned (a minute or two).

4. Stir in chopped scallions, dried cranberries, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and water.

5. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

6. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered, and undisturbed for about 15 minutes.

7. Remove lid and stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley.

Related post on Palatable Pastime: Mushroom long grain and wild rice pilaf

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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