I have been steadily increasing my daily intake of fermented foods (sometimes called lacto fermented vegetables) and had been wanting to try fermenting salsa. Fortunately my wife ordered a 20 pound box of tomatoes with our Bountiful Basket. This salsa has a zesty tang – the flavor sits on your tongue for a few more seconds that plain salsa. If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at fermenting, this is a great recipe to start with.
Gather what ever you’d like in the salsa. I used 8 peeled, seeds removed and diced tomatoes, one red onion diced, 4 cloves of garlic minced, one bunch cilantro – stems removed and chopped, one roasted chili pepper – chopped, plus the juice of one citrus fruit (I’ve used both orange and lime – either will work great).
Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with one teaspoon of sea salt and at one packet of vegetable starter like Caldwell’s Vegetable Starter. Mix well and transfer to a quart jar.
Pack the salsa in the jar releasing a natural brine. Leave the salsa about 1 inch from the top of the jar. Top off with a bit of salt water if the brine doesn’t cover the salsa. Place the lid on the jar.
Leave on the counter to ferment for 3 to 6 days. Once or twice a day, taste the salsa and push it back below the brine. I enjoyed the flavor after about 3 or 4 days – my counter is near a heat vent so the salsa seems to ferment fast. Place in the refrigerator once you enjoy the flavor.
This is so simple and the ingredients can be what every you have on hand. Homemade salsa is one of those recipes you will probably never make the same way twice – experiment. This is not only a tasty condiment, but is high in Vitamin C and folic acid.
If you are just getting started in vegetable fermentation I encourage you to pick up a copy of Wild Fermentation or Nourishing Traditions. Both will get you comfortable with fermentation – so you can preserve vegetables the “old fashion” whey.