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Mixin' in the Village Gravy by Amy Magnusbroiled trout

BLOG-Ground Cherry Goodness

pint of ground cherriesAs the folks at Rocket Acres began propagating their seed starts this spring, they took requests for new plantings. I had my order ready: ground cherries. Lucky me, they already had the seeds ready for launch.

Rocket Acres is a family farm owned by Jen and Jason Clark. For two years now, they’ve kept us regularly supplied in duck and turkey eggs, and more recently they’ve supplied our greens. Then, early this week, my special request came in for a landing. Instead of the usual dozen or so eggs, the Clarks slipped a pint of ground cherries on our egg box.

When the ground cherries arrived, my son and I began eating them like butterscotch candies. Unfolding a bright orange-gold orb and pinching it free of the papery husk, we pop the small fruit whole into mouth to rediscover its charms. The fruit has the form and texture of a cherry tomato and the taste of ripe pineapple…the best of two worlds in one tiny gift wrapped package.

wrappersground cherries in the pan

The best of two worlds is what the Clarks found here in the Miami Valley. They moved into the area within couple of months of our return in December 2007. Drawn away from the NASA community by good work prospects and accounts of excellent soil and rain fall, Jen and Jason spent a year looking for a small Miami Valley farm to call their own. Their search unearthed five acres within a mile of Yellow Springs, and there they settled in.

When the Clark family asked me what I was going to make with my pint of goodness, I was hard pressed to imagine anything better than eating them straight out of the wrapper. Then on Thursday I picked up a pound of trout from Current Cuisine. The trout was its own bright orange and formed for a pairing with my little treats. I halved two dozen ground cherries, tossed them with minced onion, and placed the fresh fish overtop for dinner.

to taste

Broiled Trout with Ground Cherry

1 onion, minced
15-24 ground cherries halved (1/3 pint)
1 lb trout
2 Tbsp walnut oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the onion and cherries in the bottom of a broiling pan. Dose a bowl in oil, add the salt & pepper, and coat the fish by tossing it gently in the bow. Place the trout skin side down on the onion and cherries and salt the fish. Finally, drizzle the fish with the balsamic vinegar.

Broil in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove from the heat and enjoy.

Serves 2-4 people.

good eats

By cooking the ground cherries under the trout, I could protect the small fruit from the flame and evisceration. The light drizzle of balsamic paired well with the pineapple flavor and the tang of the meat.

dressed plate

I first experienced ground cherries when Doug and Kat Christian of Smaller Footprint Farm included the cherry-tomato-like fruit in our 2011 farm shares. After one sample, I fell hard. It is the type of fruit you will find only at the farmers market and perhaps only if you ask. You can contact Rocket Acres through their Facebook page or their email address rocketacres {at} gmail(.)com.

Chicken BBQ Grilldoling out dessert

You can also find Jason today hosting the Annual Chicken Barbecue from 5 to 7:30pm at the Yellow Springs United Methodist Church, 202 South Winter Street. He’ll be firing up the grill with the Methodist Men for their annual fundraiser. I’ve got two pies that I’ll be bringing to help load up the dessert table, so I hope to see you touch down there myself.

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