Recently, we have been picking several pounds of heirloom tomatoes from our garden. Many have accumulated in the kitchen. In an effort to use them before they spoil, we decided to make fermented salsa. Inspired from a Nourishing Traditions recipe and The Art of Fermentation, I made several jars worth or about 6 cups.
To start with, have several clean jars and lids on hand (they should all be washed with hot water prior to using them). Next gather all you ingredients.
- 6 ripe large tomatoes that have been skinned, seeded and diced
- 1 medium diced onion
- 5 to 6 diced jalapeno peppers
- the juice of 2 lemons
- 1 bunch of cilantro diced (stems removed)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of minced oregano
- 6 tablespoons of whey
- 6 to 8 minced garlic cloves
A note on making whey: Leave a cup of raw milk at room temperature for 1 to 4 days until milk solids separate from the semi-clear liquid (aka. whey). Separate the whey from the milk solid by pouring the mixture through a cheese cloth.
I started by preparing the tomatoes. To skin them, place one at a time in filtered boiling water for 5 seconds or so. You’ll see that the skin is bunching up. Then remove and peel the skin off the rest of the way. After skinning the tomatoes, I cut each perpendicular to the core and scoop out the seeds with my finger. After removing seeds, I then diced them. I used a combination of Yellow Boy and Purple Cherokee tomatoes. I suggest using your favorite ones. I added the tomatoes to a large bowl.
I then added the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and folded the mixture with my hands. You may want gloves for this process since the jalapeno can sting. Also, you may not want to use all the jalapeno seeds if you want a milder salsa. We like it hot, so we added the seeds of 4 of the 6 jalapenos.
We put the mixture into the jars and closed the lids tight. We put them on our window sill for five days so that the fermentation process could start. This morning, I open the jars to see how they looked. Mold was on the surface of the salsa for 3 of the 4 jars. This is normal since the oxygen present at the top of the mix and the warmth of the room promotes mold to grow. I scooped this off with a spoon and put them in the refrigerator.
I did taste the salsa from one of the jars. It may be the best salsa I have ever had! It is spicy hot and has a great tomato flavor. The other ingredients are more subtle but blend well to give the classic fresh salsa taste.
Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think.