Yummy Ground Cherry Salsa

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ground cherry salsa

Each year I like to try my hand at growing something new. This year the list of new things included ground cherries. Ground cherries are related to tomatoes and look a lot like tomatillos. They are very sweet and come in several different shades and flavors. My nieces say that my ground cherries (Aunt Molly’s variety) smell and taste like starbursts. The sweet, fragrant smell is pleasing but I have to admit the texture is a little strange to me. Either way, my first year’s harvest has been very plentiful and I’ve had to find a way to put all of these tiny little starbursts fruits to good use.

ground cherry in husk ground cherries

First, I made a batch of ground cherry jam. It was fine, but we’re not big jam eaters. Five pints of jam were made (plenty for our little family) and still the ground cherries kept coming! My next move was to add some to fresh salsa. It was so yummy (SO yummy!) that I decided to modify the recipe for canned salsa. (I also have tomatoes coming out of my ears!) The result? Ryan says “This is what ground cherries were made for!” In fact, he loved the salsa so much that he gobbled up 2 cups of it in one sitting and said “Katie! This is best. I mean, it’s THE best… it’s so good it made me forget how to say the word ‘the’.”

Here’s hoping you like it just as much.

Ground Cherry Salsa

you can click here for a printable recipe

Hands-On Time: 2 Hours              Yield: 4+ Quarts

Ingredients

  • 5-7 cups diced ground cherries
  • 5-6 cups ripe tomatoes (preferably roma)
  • 4-8 medium hot peppers (such as jalapeños), seeded and diced
  • 1 ½ cups minced red onion
  • ½ cup sliced green onions, including white and green parts
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp lime juice (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare hot water bath canner. It should be ready (rolling boil) very near the time the salsa is done stewing. Sterilize four quart-sized jars (perhaps five in case you have extra). I sterilize mine in the oven by washing them first in soapy, hot water, then placing them in the oven at 250* for 20 minutes.
  2. Add half of ground cherries, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro to a large stock pot. Mix in peppers, red onions, garlic, salt, vinegar and lime juice (optional). Bring to a boil then cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Just before adding the salsa to hot, sterilized jars, add the remaining ground cherries, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro. Heat on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes or until the whole mixture is heated through.
  4. Ladle hot salsa into sterilized jars. Securely place lids and process in a hot water bath canner for 20 minutes.

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