I have a tough crowd to please in my house and my group of friends and family. They peer at my fermenting foods “marinating” with distrust-even after listening to countless statistics and research on good bacteria :) “More for me,” I say!
And then I bring out the chips and (my fermented) salsa.
It gets devoured by all, no questions asked!
I don’t know what it is about this fermented salsa recipe, but even people who do not like fermented foods and/or salsa literally devour this salsa. I use quite a few potent peppers in my version, but no one seems to mind at all; it has the perfect zing yet blends in very well with all the ingredients for an overall awesome flavor.
Originally in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, a well-known fermenting and whole foods cookbook, I’ve made some changes and doubled the recipe.
Ingredients for 2 quarts salsa (because you will eat just one way too fast to wait for a second to ferment)
8-10 medium tomatoes
1 large onion (yellow or white work well)
1 t red chili pepper flakes
3-4 whole jalapeno peppers or mix with Serrano, seeds as well
1 (store bought) bunch of cilantro (1/2 to 1 cup chopped); cut off under most of the leaves
1 t dried oregano
6 T lemon juice or juice of 4 lemons
2 T sea salt (not iodized, table salt)
1/2 c non-chlorinated water
You can hand chop and dice all the ingredients, but this salsa works very well in a Ninja blender, food processor, or similar kitchen gadget that won’t automatically puree all the ingredients.
- Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters and place in blender first. Do the same with the onions and then quickly chop in the blender or processor enough to bring the level down in the container.
- Add all of the other ingredients into the container. I recommend putting the cilantro leaves and any stems in the middle as sometimes the stems wrap around the blade. For the peppers, I only cut the top off and then cut them in halves, keeping the seeds. Don’t forget to save your garlic papers, onion peels, and cilantro stems for your Stove Top Broth in the freezer!
- Keep blending until the ingredients are about the same size and uniform in consistency. It will look like there is too much cilantro in the recipe!
- Use clean quart sized glass jars with lids. They don’t necessarily have to be “canning” jars, but look for a thicker glass as opposed to thin. Sometimes, pressure can build up and crack the bottom of the jar. To prevent that, you will be “burping,” or unscrewing the lid and loosely screwing it on again, at least once a day. You’ll be curious enough about it to keep touching it, especially if this is your first ferment!
- Consistent temperature is key to an easy ferment, so a place in your kitchen that stays in the range of 65-70 degrees F is best. Many people find that the cupboard above the fridge is excellent for fermenting. I usually have to prop one of the cabinet doors open about an inch for perfect ferments.
- Burp the jars once a day and give the salsa a shake when the lid is on to mix the ingredients. More than likely you will see tiny bubbles on the sides of the jar or when you unscrew the lid. This is the fermenting process at work!
- On day 4, taste test the salsa. If it is a bit too salty for your preference, continue to burp each day for 3 or 4 more days. Taste again.
- Store in fridge. Aside from chips, this is a great accompaniment to enchiladas or other Mexican style foods. To benefit from the probiotic goodness in the salsa, don’t heat it up but put it on your food right before serving.
Sally Fallon also has a great website with many recipes available online. I enjoy many of her recipes!
Have you ever had a fermented salsa before? What did you think?