One of my favorite summer time treats are Ground Cherries! We’ve been growing them in our garden for the past several years and they are so delicious. And our favorite way to enjoy them in is in this Ground Cherry Salsa Recipe!
Members of the nightshade family, Ground Cherries (Physalis pruinosa), also commonly referred to as husk cherries or husk tomatoes, are small pale orange/yellow fruits wrapped in a crinkly, paper husk similar to tomatillos.
And they are featured in one of my favorite slow foods resources Ark of Taste, we grow the heritage variety in our garden; Aunt Mollys Ground Cherries.
Their flavor is mild, yet quite sweet, most commonly referred to as a cross between a tomato and a pineapple. They are often confused with the cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana).
Growing ground cherries at home is very easy. We grow the Heirloom Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherries with great success here in Pennsylvania. They are easy to grow, prefer full sun and consistent soil moisture. The pant produces heavily each year for both us and our chickens.
We start our seeds indoors and transfer the plants outside on the same schedule as our homegrown tomatoes. These strawberry tomato plants produce an abundant harvest to ground cherries to harvest. .
Ground Cherries are ready to harvest when their husk turns from soft/green to brown/papery, fall to the ground. Just remove the husks and enjoy!
Just one plant will yield you enough ground cherries to nibble on throughout the summer. This year we have 3 plants and feel *slightly* overwhelmed – but in a good way.
I’ve heard that some people experience flea beetles in their plants, however in 5 years of growing ground cherry plants we’ve had no pest infestations at all.
They abundant harvest as given us plenty of ground cherries to not only snack on but plenty to use as husked fruits in creative and delicious recipes, like this crazy good Ground Cherry Salsa!
Yesterday I got up early and harvested nearly a gallon bucket of ground cherries then quickly got to work removing their papery husk in preparation for a full day of recipe development and photography in ground cherry recipes, like this one.
If you find some ground cherries at your local farmers’ market (or plant to grow them in your own garden next year) this is definitely the BEST recipe to use them in.
They also make a delicous ground cherry pie and using lime or lemon juice always enhances their flavor.
I promise you’ll LOVE them!!
And don’t worry! You can still enjoy chips with your Ground Cherry Salsa if you are grain-free and/or Paleo with THESE delicious tortilla chips.
There’s only one problem with this delicious salsa, you won’t be able to stop eating it until it’s all gone!
When Ray came home from work, he quickly ate the entire bag of chips and bowl of salsa!!
Admittedly, I was bummed. I mean really. I used great restraint all day and I didn’t even get any to snack on! But don’t worry, I’m making myself a second batch today just for me!
One last tip, you can also FERMENT ground cherry salsa by adding 1 tablespoon of whey, loosely covering it and storing it at room temperature for 24 hours. Then chill completely before serving.
Here’s a few other Ground Cherry Recipes you may enjoy:
- Ground Cherry Hot Sauce
- Elderberry, Ground Cherry & Sumac Juice
- Dark Chocolate Covered Ground Cherries
Yours in Health,
- 1 cup Ground Cherries outter husk removed
- 1/2 cup Red onion
- 1/3 cup roasted tomatoes *see note
- 1 medium lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeño seeds removed
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
- Combine all ingredients in your food processor and pulse to combine.
- Chill prior to serving for flavors to combine. Will keep for about a week in the fridge.