This fermented salsa is quick, tasty and good-for-your-gut!
This summer we were blessed to get what seemed to be an endless supply of fresh veggies from friends of ours. Their garden was massive and producing the most beautiful tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. I brought the boys with me a few times (as healthy child labor). We’d picked for as long as we could before the baby would start crying. Sometimes we were only there for 10 minutes, but we always left with bags of fresh, local produce. Once we got home, I’d realize that my eyes were bigger than our stomachs and the fridge…how could we possibly eat all of this before they went bad? The answer, of course, was: ferment all the things. (New to fermenting? Visit my Fermentation for Dummies post!) Fermenting allows you to keep what you’ve picked for much longer because you’re preserving it with the help of microorganisms, so it becomes shelf-stable for weeks or months longer than it would be if it remained fresh! You are also left with a food that is beneficial to digestion and which provides minerals that are more accessible to the body – so many wins!
I had my recipe for green salsa, but I knew it would never last given how many tomatoes we had actually come home with. So, I decided to try my hand at fermenting the salsa. Turns out, it’s super easy and just requires a couple of days at most to finish the process! What you’re left with has a beautiful sauerkraut-y smell/taste, and you can flavor it in so many ways. Check out the basics of this recipe below, and add your own touches!
10 small/medium tomatoes
1 large onion
1 cup cilantro
3 cloves garlic
3 hot peppers
2 tbsp whey (crazy easy with quality store-bought or homemade yogurt)
2 tsp. salt
half gallon mason jar
Roughly cut the tomatoes and onions in halves or quarters. Add the cilantro, garlic, and peppers to the blender or food processor first and pulse a few times. Add the tomatoes and onion. Pulse or run your blended until the salsa is the consistency you’d like; I prefer my salsa to be smaller pieces of vegetable, almost pureed. Pour into a half gallon mason jar and add the salt and whey. Stir to combine. Cover with a pickle pipe or plastic jar lid, screwed on loosely. Both lids will allow gases to escape without allowing bacteria in (no burping necessary!).
Leave the jar on your counter for 24-48 hours. I checked mine at 24 hours and shook/stirred to mix the ingredients, then let it sit for another 12-24 hours depending on how it looked/smelled.
Once time is up, screw the plastic lid on tight or use a regular metal lid and refrigerate. Done and done! Enjoy with chips, eggs, chicken…whatever your healthy gut desires.
I used the following combinations:
- green tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos OR hatch chiles
- red/orange tomatoes, white onions, jalapenos OR hatch chiles
- green tomatoes, red onions, no chiles (kid-friendly, mild salsa)
Interested in even more on fermenting? Cultures for Health is a great site with tons of information and recipes!
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