“Ping me when you are up!” The email was sitting at the top of my in-box from my friend, Susan Berkson, the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market queen. She hosts a weekly radio show called “Fresh and Local” and is all about the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. I jumped on video chat and was enthusiastically greeted with, “Ground cherries are in at the market. We have to go right now!”
I have had similar experiences with other people. It seems there is a huge romantic love of ground cherries, mostly stemming from childhood memories of picking and eating them. My introduction to ground cherries came later in life. Looking like little Chinese lanterns, and tasting somewhere between tart and sweet, I picked some up last year but had no idea what to do. This year, after a few tastes, I knew exactly what I was going to do!
Ground Cherries or Physalis, are actually more similar to tomatoes than cherries. But the taste is distinctly different. Some say they taste like a cross between a tomato and a pineapple, others detect strawberry notes. What I can tell you is the taste is very refreshing. Ground cherries often end up in pies and jams or are just eaten raw.
When I tasted the ground cherries, the first thing that came to mind was what a beautiful vinaigrette they would make. I have also heard of people using them to make salsa, and had quite a lot of success with that recipe, too. Today, I give you the vinaigrette recipe! This salad turns into a whole raw food meal with the addition of jicama and pumpkin seeds.
Ground Cherry Vinaigrette
- 1 cup ground cherries
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
- Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
- Place ground cherries, red wine vinegar and agave in blender. Blend until smooth.
- With blender running, slowly pour olive oil into mixture. It will emulsify (thicken).
- Remove from blender and add salt and pepper to taste.
- 4 cups lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup ground cherries
- 1 cup jicama, cubed
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss.
- Top with vinaigrette to taste
Le-Anne wrote on May 2, 2013
In Australia, these are called Cape Gooseberries…..ours never make it inside because we (the kids and the dog included) eat them straight off the bush! Delicious!
Susan wrote on May 2, 2013
Le-Anne, They are tasty little buggers, aren’t they! I have no idea if we get them in the Bay area.
Andrea wrote on August 24, 2011
I also never heard of ground cherries. I doubt that I would find them here. Thanks for the recipe.