The Arrival of Sour Gherkins, Tomatillos, and Husk Cherries

So I just found out that soon on the student farm sour gherkins, husk cherries, and tomatillos will be ready soon. All three of these fruits are very unique and fun to cook with.

As some of you may know the husk cherries and tomatillos are both relatives to the tomato. Both grow within an outer husk that should be removed before consuming of cooking with. Tomatillos go great in just about anything from eggs in the morning to chilli in the cooler months.

Here are a couple of ideas for what you could possibly do with husk cherries:

 

  • 1: Sugar and Cinnamon Ground Cherries, via Kitchen Therapy, can be used in place of raisins. (They also recommend drying halved ground cherries sprinkled with salt and pepper for a savory alternative. Yum – thanks, Vincent!)

 

  • 2: Another way to preserve the fruits is by making jam out of them.

 

  • 3: Show off the fruit’s beautiful husks, which appear wing-like when peeled back. Simply peel back the husk of each fruit, leaving it attached. Wash, dry, and serve as a beautiful garnish on cereals, yogurt, or ice cream.

 

  • 4: Because the ground cherry is related to the tomatillo, we’d be interested to try it in a salsa.

Sour Gherkins are about the size of grapes and taste like cucumbers with a tinge of sourness. These gherkins are actually an heirloom variety of tiny cucumbers. They grow quite well in NC and are grown on trellises. Here is a recipe that might work perfectly for anyone interested in trying out this delicious little veggie.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup lemon verbena leaf
1 strip lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 cups mexican sour gherkin cucumbers, ends trimmed
1 cup champagne or 1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

1. Place the verbena leaves, lemon zest, and peppercorns in a quart jar. Pack with the cucumbers, being careful not to crush them.

 
2. Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a small nonreactive pot, stirring to dissolve the salt.
 
3. Pour over the cucumbers, leaving a 1/2″ headspace. Make sure the cucumbers are submerged. Check for air bubbles, wipe the rim, and seal.
 
4. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Adjust time according to your altitude.
 
David Carter
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