Ground Cherry Salad with Polenta Croutons

This recipe incorporates some of our favorite farmers market ingredients into a great side salad. We only had so much of each ingredient or I would have made this a main dish -- it can be easily done with more of everything. Dave pickled the mouse melon (cucamelons) a few days before we got our CSA this round. Since the mouse melons are similar in size to the ground cherries pickling them adds a delightful little bite to this salad which blends sweet, sour, and savory nicely.

Vegetarian & Cooking original. 

-Two cups arugula
-1/2 cup ground cherries
-2/5's package of polenta, cut into large cubes
-1 ounce goat cheese
-1/2 tablespoon olive oil
-1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

Pickled Mouse Melon:
-1 cup cucamelons
-1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
-1 habanero, seeded and sliced
-1 clove garlic, sliced
-1 cup white vinegar
-1 cup water
-1 ounce salt

For the pickled mouse melon, bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil. When it reaches a boil, add to a jar containing mustard seeds, garlic, habanero and cucamelons. Seal the jar, set aside until it cools, and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

For the salad, crisp the polenta cubes in a saute pan over medium heat, a few minutes per side. Combine olive oil and white balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Toss arugula in the dressing, and plate with ground cherries, polenta, a dozen pickled mouse melons, and crumbled goat cheese.


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