Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fermented Salsa!

You know, I didn't set out to make the best salsa in the world... it just kinda... happened.


The above statement is a direct quote taken from my own facebook status update at 9:06pm on Saturday, August 11, 2012.  In my personal opinion, the statement is in no way an exaggeration or hyperbole. It IS, in my estimation, the most absolute and pure TRUTH that ever was, is or ever will be.

Okay, well... maybe it's not the most absolute and pure truth that ever was, is or ever will be.  But let me tell you this; the salsa was GOOD.

When I opened my book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, to page 103, little did I know that it would change my life; little did I know that this unassuming recipe in the "Fermented Vegetables and Fruits" section of the chapter "Mastering the Basics" would be the best salsa I've ever had; and little did I know that it would be SIMPLE.

Well, now I know! And after much pestering by my facebook friends and pressure to charge cash money for my knowledge (which was all Handsome Husband had to say about it publicly, but rest assured that he was almost as floored as I was by the total salsa awesomeness), I am now going to reveal the recipe to all inquiring minds! And taste buds! For free!

This is where the salsa used to be. Because we ate it. Sorry.

Below is the list of ingredients exactly as it appears in the book (fyi):

4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 small onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
juice of 2 lemons
1 tblsp sea salt

4 tblsp whey (if not available, use an additional 1 tblsp salt)

1/4 cup filtered water.

And here is the list of ingredients I used:

4 medium tomatoes, peeled*, seeded** and diced
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 chopped jalapeno pepper
5 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tblsp snipped cilantro (I would have used more but my plant failed to thrive!)
1/4 tsp dried oregano (I prefer just a hint of oregano)
juice of 2 lemons
1 tblsp sea salt
4 tblsp whey*** (Use the whey! Use the whey!)

(I added the water, but ended up with too much liquid so I recommend omitting it.)

  • Mix all ingredients and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar.
  • Press down lightly with a wooden pounder, meat hammer, wooden spoon, your hand... 
  • Add more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
  • Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage.
  • My version makes a mild salsa.

* To peel tomatoes:  Use a knife and go for it.  Or blanch in boiling water for 5 seconds and then peel - the skin should come off easily.

** To seed tomatoes:  Cut in half at the "equator", hold tomato half in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze out seeds.

*** To make whey:  You make whey out of yogurt.  Just line a strainer with cheesecloth or a thin dishtowel and put it over a bowl.  Put the yogurt on the cloth and leave it there until the whey drips out (a couple of hours or so depending on how much yogurt you're... um... Done!  Now you also have cream cheese!  Go to the blog Our Nourishing Roots if you're visual and all of these instructions are causing your head to spin!

Now get out there and make some fermented salsa!!

Why? Because it's the best salsa in the world.  And it's brimming with probiotic goodness!  Seriously, your intestine would thank you... if your intestine could thank... you.

Happy fermenting!