Ok. Show of hands. How many of you looked at this recipe and wondered either a) why I’m talking about cherries when cherry season is just about over or b) why I was grinding up cherries before putting them into salsa?
If you didn’t raise your hand because you know I’m talking about a little fruit called the ground cherry, well done! You’re obviously a farmers market shopper. Ground cherries are related to the tomatillo. They are sweet but there’s a hint of savory to them as well. Inside the papery husks, you’ll find sweet, firm orange fruit. What struck me about ground cherries the first time I tried them was how tropical they tasted. Since we can’t get mangoes, papayas, or pineapple here, I’m always looking for ways to replicate those flavors with local ingredients.
It has been miserably hot recently, and I was in the mood for salsa, so I chopped the ground cherries up with a few other random things I had in my fridge and threw the whole thing over a nice piece of halibut. I’ll be making them into pie next.
- 1 cup ground cherries, husked and chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 mild to medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 small green hot pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 Tbsp Champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Salt to taste
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Serve over fish, chicken, or with chips.
Notes: Ground cherries are sweet, but they aren’t overpoweringly sweet. In fact, they are a lot like Sungold cherry tomatoes, but with a firmer flesh and a more concentrated flavor. I’m sure you could throw just about any typical salsa ingredient in this recipe, including tomatoes and onions. Like most salsas, the flavors develop even more over the course of a night in the fridge, so if you can, make this a day in advance.
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