Ground Cherry Salsa

So the ground cherries are falling on the ground ripe, but I can’t say that I am the biggest fan (Brian and Mika have no complaints though!)  They taste kind of citrusy and maybe a bit tropical, but aren’t really too sweet. They do resemble tomatoes and kind of have the same texture. Anyways, since I wasn’t about to eat handfuls straight from the garden, I did a bit of online research to look for recipe ideas.  I found a couple websites that suggested making salsa among other things (e.g., pie and compote).   I adapted a few salsa recipes so that it worked for what we had in the garden and it turned out well. I think it lasted maybe 10 minutes when I served it last week at a bbq :)

Here’s the recipe I ended up using:

  • 1 cup husked ground cherries. Cut them into halves or quarters.
  • 2 cups black cherry tomatoes (any tomatoes would probably do, but these ones were nice and sweet and worked well). Cut into eighths.
  • Half a super chili pepper (could add more if you like your salsa spicy, and substitute other types of chili peppers). Dice it up really small.
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced really small.
  • Juice of one lime
  • About 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

If you chop the tomatoes and leave them in a colander for about 1 hour the salsa doesn’t turn out too watery.  You can also throw the ground cherries and cilantro in the colander with the tomatoes and combine with the rest when you are ready to serve the salsa (I just had a bowl ready with the lime juice, hot pepper, sugar and salt and pepper and added the other ingredients to the bowl when I was ready to serve it).

We had the first three ingredients in the garden, but had to get the last few at the store (I didn’t grow cilantro this year because most recipes call for so much that I never seem to have enough in my garden anyways). I will definitely be making this again.  It takes us about a week right now to collect enough ground cherries off of the plants to make the salsa, but it is worth the wait :)

Here is a picture of the ingredients…

the halved ground cherries…

black cherry tomatoes cut into eighths…

…and the end result! (half eaten already because I almost forgot to take a picture!)


Also, some fun facts about ground cherries: In doing my online research for recipe ideas, I found out that ground cherries grow wild in certain parts of the world. Apparently in Hawaii they grow along roads.  And apparently they are likely to self seed in the garden if you don’t pick up all the ground cherries.  Right now that doesn’t really seem like a bad thing! The ground cherries we grew are called Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherries, and apparently they originate from Poland and are good for colder climates.  Also, they don’t need staking like tomatoes, and we found that the plant we have in a pot grows great.  Highly recommend growing this plant in your garden!

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4 thoughts on “Ground Cherry Salsa

  1. wow thanks for the info. I recently found out I ‘m allergic to red tomatoes, so this year I tried tomatillos from seed, and some white tomatoes too. I had no idea they were from Poland, and was skeptical about weather or not they could grow in Northern Ontario , but wanted to try them anyway. They started a bit slow, and I think I pulled all but 3 plants by mistake, I thought they were weeds. Then BAM they took off after a rain. and the more it rains the more they grow. I”ve been looking for other recipes to use up these little charms, do you know if they freeze well ? I”m going to have a bumper crop this year . Thanks.

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