Jul 302014
Clark Farm - Week 6

Cherry and grape tomatoes at Clark Farm’s stand

“Playing With Your Food” is a weekly post highlighting a few of the many great uses for the wide range of produce and artisan food at the Salem Farmers’ Market, a Salem Main Streets project.  While we can never predict exactly what our farms will be able to bring each week, we do our best to reflect some of the fun items we’ve found recently and what’s likely to be available for the upcoming week.  Hopefully this will give you a few new ideas to play with, and inspire you to try some new things at the market.

It’s so interesting to see how the colors of the market change from week to week.  A few weeks ago, we were looking at a sea of pink and green – now the true summer rainbow is starting to emerge.   Tomato season is not yet 100% here, but the tide is certainly starting.  The corn is here to stay, the blueberries have been out in force, and looking at my garden, eggplant is on its way.  This week, we’re playing with a few colorful ingredients that are, oddly enough, all members of the nightshade family – starting with the familiar and moving to the downright unusual.

2014-07-18 20.05.48

Potatoes from Heavens Harvest

Cherry Tomatoes

While the full-size tomatoes are still ripening, cherry tomatoes of all shapes and sizes are definitely here.  Do you really need me to tell you what to do with them?  Chances are you’re so happy popping them in your mouth that they won’t even make it home!  That said, here are a few fun ideas:

  • Sun Gold Tomato Pasta – easiest pasta ever, but only worth making during the summer.  Use any small tomatoes you like, don’t worry about holding out for sun golds.
  • Rosy Chicken – it’s rose season, too (the wine, not the flower – our website doesn’t like the accent)!  Put it to work.
  • Just slice a few up along with some chunks of Wolf Meadow Farm‘s mozzarella and splash with a little red wine vinegar for an instant summer salad – perfect for picnics!


The small, multicolor potatoes that start showing up at the market this time of year help make standard sides a little sassier.  Use them for any recipe that calls for small potatoes, but make sure that their colors get a chance to shine!

Clark Farm Husk Cherries - Week 6

Husk cherries…or whatever you call them… still in their wrappers.


Husk Cherries / Ground Cherries / Cape Gooseberries / whatever

Usually when I see something really rare and special at the market, I hold back a little while and make sure that our market customers get first dibs.  Sorry, guys; I threw that rule right out the window when I saw that Clark Farm had husk cherries last week.  I had to have them.  No one seems to agree on what to call them (made more complicated because there are apparently two species that are practically identical), or even what they taste like, but what you can expect is a unique, small bite of sweet, sour, and savory packed together.

  • Corn, Basil, and Ground Cherry Salad – the flavors in this summer salad are a great way to balance the complex flavors of the husk cherries, as well as highlighting other market goodies like corn, basil, and cucumbers.
  • Combine them with cherry tomatoes for any summer pasta dish (like the sun gold tomato pasta mentioned above).
  • Eat them raw on their own – I dare you to have just one.


Husk Cherries 1


  One Response to “Playing With Your Food – Week 7”

  1. Ground cherries are the BEST! They are my favorite farmer’s market discovery, something I never knew existed until I started buying local. I describe them as a cross between a pineapple and a cherry tomato – in the best possible way! Fragrant and floral. I don’t blame you for grabbing them!

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