Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ground Cherries

My Mom had told me about a summer fruit called ground cherries that she used to enjoy at her grandmother's house when she was young.  They grew in her yard, and she used to pick them and make jelly out of them in the summer.  I had never seen them before, and didn't know what they looked like, until I came across some last week in the produce department.  They looked like mini chinese paper lanterns, pale pinkish brown colored...I was intrigued, since they were locally grown, and I am always up for trying new fruits and veggies!  So I had to buy some, thinking I would find a great use for them!  I tasted one, and it was like a very sweet tomato almost mild pineapple flavor that filled my mouth.  I decided that I would make a salad using them to preserve their freshness.  I had bought some butter lettuce and wonderful sweet candy onions that were also locally grown, and I thought they would be nice in the salad with the cherries.  I threw in some toasted pecans and goat gouda for some richness and dressed the salad in a tangy Apple Cider honey mustard vinaigrette.  It was all very delicious once it was all married together.  The sweet cherries worked well in this salad against the tart vinaigrette.  The basil and onions provided a savory note to the whole thing, and the toasted flavor of the walnuts and buttery richness of the cheese all provided a satisfying summer meal.  Lots of flavor, and meeting my every need in what I was craving... a fresh and light dinner along with some local Lady Slipper rose wine from Northern Vineyards.  This would be perfect on a warm summer night out on the patio!

Butter Lettuce and Ground Cherry Salad with Sweet Candy Onions, Goat Gouda, and Toasted Pecans

Serves 2
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp course grain honey mustard
sea salt to taste

1 head butter lettuce
1/4 cup sliced sweet candy onion
1 cup ground cherries
1/4 cup toasted pecans
1 1/2 oz goat gounda, sliced thinly or broken into pieces
8 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together dressing in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, combine lettuce, onions, ground cherries, and pecans.  Toss with dressing until well coated, then divide between 2 plates.  Scatter gouda and basil atop salads, and sprinkle over a few good grinds of fresh pepper.  Enjoy!


penny aka jeroxie said...

I have never seen that before either! The lantern like overing is so delicate. I want to try some.

Amy said...

Definately something to be tried if you can get your hands on them :)!

Anonymous said...

I looove ground cheeries! They are so hard to come by though