Fermented salsa is something I’ve been dying to try for years. Years I tell ya! But, well, you know how it goes – life is busy and timing is tough. I long ago realized that I work on a very extended timeline. As in, the average length of time between the first kernel of an idea for a project/post, and the actual execution of said project/post, is probably around 9 months. Sometimes it happens super quick: I conceive of an idea, I plan it, and it’s done in a matter of days.
More often things progress very slowly, churning around in the back of my mind, little pieces falling into place. I’ll take a photo that I know will work in the final blog post, even though that post, and the associated project, won’t actually happen for years to come. Or I’ll pick up a prop/tool/tchotchke at the thrift shop, knowing it will fit in . . . later. I mean, sometimes it’s literally years! (This extended timeline becomes problematic with product reviews, which is part of the reason I do so few of them, but that’s a discussion for another day.) I’d guess at any given time I probably have 15-25 potential projects cooking on a burner in the back of my brain.
Anyway, that’s just a little insight into my creative process, and has nothing to do with this particular post. This post is about salsa! And more specifically, lacto-fermented salsa that is brimming with happy healthy beasties! Fermenting the salsa adds beneficial probiotic bacteria, increased nutrients, a longer lifespan, and of course, that delightful salty tang.
Last week I found myself facing an abundance of late season tomatoes, and since I was leaving town for 10 days, I had to find a way to use them up – and quickly. And thus, after many years of plotting and planning, a fermented salsa recipe finally came to life in my little kitchen.
Here’s what you’ll need if you want to have a go at it in yours:
** A note – all of these measurements are approximations, and can be modified to suit your taste or depending on your access to produce. The only thing you’ll need to keep constant is the salt, because otherwise it won’t ferment and you’ll end up with a big ‘ol bowl of rotten tomatoes. And of course it follows, if you add a bunch of additional ingredients without subtracting anything, you’ll need to up the salt to compensate. Make sense?
2-3 pounds tomatoes, any type – chopped
1 medium white or yellow onion – diced
2-4 cloves of garlic – crushed or minced
1-3 jalapeños (depending on how spicy you like it) – minced
small bunch cilantro – chopped
2 tablespoons raw unfiltered unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sea salt
Place all the ingredients in a big bowl. Toss everything to mix it up thoroughly.
Portion the salsa into clean canning jars or glass containers. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the top of the solid salsa (just use your fingertips to pack it down if you need), then cover with a lid and set the jars out for 48(ish) hours.
As it ferments you may see a little foam forming on top – this is totally normal. After 48 hours, screw on the caps and transfer the jars to the fridge.
You’re done! Your salsa will last many months in the fridge, but you probably won’t need that long. This stuff is delicious!