Potato Salad featuring Cape Gooseberries

potato salad A Mexican friend of mine told me once that she used cape gooseberries in place of tomatillos in a truly sensational dip/salsa that she makes.Cape gooseberries (Physalis) are both sweet and sharp in flavour. Apparently  they are the nearest she can get in terms of flavour to the tomatillo so readily available in Mexico.

My only experience of them in the past is of having them dipped in chocolate in the 80s. They were perfect back then as a small plate decoration so suited to the Nouvelle cuisine of that decade. They certainly didn’t make any sort of impression on me and I never felt the urge to go hunting them out when shopping.

But, last Sunday as part of out Chinese New Year food celebrations, I decided to buy some exotic fruits to have for pudding. After both roast pork and roast duck pancakes I thought it might be a good idea to let the children have a fruit tasting session so I bought lychees, mangoes and the cape gooseberries, aka Physalis.

We enjoyed them all and they made a welcome refreshing sweet end to a very rich and celebratory Chinese meal. But, there were several fruits left over. I was making a potato salad to have that evening and there the discovery was made. These little orange bites found their way into my herbed, salsa verde-like potato salad and they lifted it into something really very good. Their sharp yet sweet flavour was a perfect balance to the rich mustardy dressing so I thought I would share the recipe here with you………

I am sending this recipe over to NO CROUTONS REQUIRED over at Tinned Tomatoes this month and co-hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen on alternate months. The theme is “Potato salad”.

I am also sending it over to Lavender & Lovage’s HERBS ON A SATURDAY blogging challenge.

Finally, I am linking to CREDIT CRUNCH MUNCH as this dish made use of  leftover ingredients I had in the fridge. This is over at Fab Food 4 All and co-hosted by Fuss Free Flavours on alternate months.

Potato Salad featuring Cape Gooseberries

This is a salad of general proportions and not an exact science!

Potato Salad featuring Cape Gooseberries
Serves 4
A potato salad with a surprise ingredient.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 500g cooked new potatoes roughly chopped
  2. 1/2 punnet of cape gooseberries
  3. Some finely sliced gherkins
  4. Some roughly chopped tiny capers
  5. A handful of finely sliced spring onions
  6. A small bunch of flat leaf parsley (Dill, chives, mint would also work well)
  7. A mustardy vinaigrette made using lots of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, good olive oil and seasoning.
  1. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl and add all the ingredients except for the cape gooseberries.
  2. Mix thoroughly together and transfer to a serving bowl.
  3. Scatter with the Cape gooseberries.
  1. Serve with some green salad and some leftover meat of you have any, some tinned sardines, or a simple omelette/frittata.
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  1. How inventive, Ive not seen physalis for ages! I love the idea of potato salad at the moment seems quite Spring like with those herbs & dressing! 

  2. How very interesting! I m certainly intrigued. I may just have to try this….

  3. Beautiful pop of colour in these dark, cold months. Bet it tastes fantastic! Your Chinese New Year meal sounds delicious too! 

  4. This sounds great – lots of lovely flavours! And you’ve reminded me that I bought some physalis seeds, will have to look them out and get sowing for potato salads later in the year…

  5. Ooh this Potato Salad sounds delicious and I’m salivating just reading the ingredients which remind me of Remoulade, I bet this would be brilliant with some pan fried fish. Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch with such a tasty recipe.

  6. You have got me at the capers and gherkins! So much flavour going on!

    Thank you so much for sending to Credit Crunch Munch!

  7. Fantastic tip about the physalis, Miss Laura! I look longingly at southwest salsa recipes, with their exotic tomatillos and crispy jicama, and pass them by. But now I know that the good old Cape gooseberry can come to the rescue. And how inventive to whack them in potato salad. Tangential or what?! 

  8. How delicious Laura. I do like the sound of this very much being a gape gooseberry fan?

  9. A fabulous and innovative recipe Laura! Thanks for entering it into Herbs on Saturday! 

  10. Wavatar Maria Evers says:

    Hi Laura, I love your blog! We are geat fans of tomatillos in our house and Andrew has successfully grown them at the Alexandra allotments and they have self seeded and fruited the following year with no effort.


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