It’s week 12, and because the ground cherries are finally ready (more on these later), I’m declaring this week, the best week so far.
Here’s what you’ve got in your box: ground cherries (!), tomatoes, basil, summer savory, cucumbers, mixed greens bunch (green curly kale, lacinato kale, rainbow chard) and eggplant.
Read on for recipes and meal suggestions.
Andrew and Reva Russell English
(Adapted from a recipe at Epicurious.)
6 c day-old hearty, crusty old-world style bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large or 4 medium tomatoes, cored and each cut into 1-inch bites
1 – 2 cucumbers, chopped
1/2 c sliced onion or leeks
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
2 T red-wine vinegar
10 fresh basil leaves, shredded
8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium serving bowl, mix together bread, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, oil, vinegar, basil and fresh mozzarella (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix again. Serve.
Classic Baba Ghanoush
(Adapted from a recipe by Tori Avey.)
1 medium eggplant
4 T tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole fresh lemon, juiced
1/4 t cumin
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
Smoked paprika or fresh parsley for garnish
Wash and dry eggplant. Pierce it a few times with a fork to vent. This is important. Without venting, it might explode 🙂 Roast it at 400 degrees F for 30 – 40 minutes on a roasting pan, turning it now and again, until skin is charred. Once cool to the touch, scrape out flesh and put in a medium bowl and let return to room temperature.
Add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and 1/2 T olive oil to the bowl. Using a fork and/or a spoon, mash the mixture together, using firm pressure to break up tahini and eggplant. Mix until well combined.
Taste. Add additional tahini, lemon juice, cumin or salt, if needed. Drizzle the surface of the dip lightly with the rest of the olive oil. Garnish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika or chopped, fresh parsley. Serve with pita bread, veggies, crackers or chips.
About those Ground Cherries
Ground cherries, those little husk-covered fruits that look like mini tomatillos, originated in Brazil but long ago made their way to the highlands of Peru and Chile. From there, they moved into Europe, Australia and Africa, and they’re just starting to make their mark on North America. They go by different names depending on where they’re grown and eaten. Here’s a sampling: In South Africa, they’re called the Cape gooseberry. In Madagascar, Pok Pok. In Egypt, Harankash, and in Hawaii, Poha.
Eat them straight out of the husk or bake a tart with them. You can also slice them and pile them onto yogurt or ice cream. Here’s one delicious-sounding idea I came across: Slice them in half and pair them with Burrata cheese, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and honey.
About that Summer Savory
Known as “donkey pepper” and “garlic pepper” in France, summer savory is one of the herbs in the French blend called herbes de Provence and is a wonderful addition to any recipe that calls for thyme or marjoram. Add it to beans, legumes, pork, sausage, chicken or as a boost to potatoes.
For centuries, people have used it as a medicine to cure coughs and sore throat and anything related to digestive troubles. It’s also considered an aphrodisiac.