I live with people who like to cook, which is a happy thing. Today, my roommate Adina, stuck at home with a busted knee, was inspired to turn some local ground cherries and tomatoes into salsa, also using up some cilantro from our CSA box and limes a friend had leftover from a party. I see taco nights in our future, as well as scrambled eggs with salsa, and other deliciousness.
Ground cherries, by the way, are cute little yellow-orange fruits that come with a wrapper, much as a tomatillo does. They’re similarly dense and tangy, but quite sweet when ripe. The ground cherries in here work particularly well. You get a spectrum from slightly sweet to acidic: sweet ground cherries, sweet-acidic tomatoes, and acidic lime. Let them meld for happy salsa results. If you can’t find ground cherries, firm peaches or other fruits are also tasty in salsa.
While Adina was chopping tomatoes, I realized something: Fresh tomatoes have a smell. I don’t mean the dusty, wonderful scent of the leaves and skin, but the flesh itself. I don’t think of it as pungent, but from across the room I could smell the ripe inside of a freshly-cut tomato.
Anyway, here’s the description. Salsa is not an exact recipe kind of food — it’s more a good excuse to use up things you have around. You can throw in a few unripe tomatoes from the garden (cough, Seattle summer FAIL, cough) or bits of vegetables and herbs.
- 5 large tomatoes
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 cup ground cherries
- handful of chopped cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- about 2-3 cloves fresh garlic
- 2-3 jalapeños
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 T kosher salt
1. Chop three of the tomatoes. Set aside fresh. Peel and chop all garlic. Chop jalapeños.
2. Chop the other two tomatoes. In a small pot, stew these two tomatoes with salt, about 2/3 of your garlic, and the jalapeños for about 30 minutes till thick and saucy. Let it cool so it doesn’t cook fresh ingredients.
3. Chop onion fine. Chop cilantro. Mix together these ingredients with the chopped fresh tomato, the lime juice, and the stewed ingredients. The salsa tastes best if you let it sit at least a day. Keep it refrigerated.
Adina making the salsa:
The salsa’s pretty layers in the jar: