An abundance of tomatoes and pepper in the garden gets me creative in the kitchen to preserve the harvest.
A salsa is easy to make and when it gets fermented it is brimming with beneficial gut probiotics and keeps for a long time.
The funny thing is that if you were to make the salsa and put it in the fridge straight away, it would be inedible after two weeks and you would have so much fuzzy mould grown at the top after 4 weeks that you can give your new pet a name.
Now you do the same salsa and instead of putting it in the fridge, you let it ferment at room temperature for 24-36 hours. Then you transfer it to the fridge and it will keep for up to one year. In my home it never makes a year as we gobble it up within 4-8 weeks.
For the salsa we use half the volume of tomatoes and the other half is made up of capsicum, coriander, onions and garlic.
I do not measure things as I go by taste and eyeball it, so you get a rough recipe from me today.
5-10 tomatoes depending on size
1-2 peppers, any colour
small bunch coriander leaves
1 small onion
1-2 cloves garlic
2-2.5 % sea salt
Dice the tomatoes and the pepper. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic.
Chop the coriander leaves and add everything to a bowl that is perched on top of a scale. Weigh your ingredients and add salt at a rate of 2%.
So if you get 500g salsa, you multiply 500 x 0.02. You would need 10g salt and get a 2% salinity. Toss the salt through and give the salsa a taste. It should be quite salty, but not too salty. You can add up to 2.5g more salt to the batch (12.5g is 2.5%).
Let the salt pull out the juices for 5 minutes. No need to pound as with cabbages as the tomatoes are super juicy. Then add the salsa to a fermentation jar. Put a glass weight on top and attach an airlock.
Let it ferment at room temperature for 24-36 hours. Give it a taste after 24 hours and if it is at your desired acidity level and has the right tanginess, transfer to the fridge and enjoy within 6 months. If not let ferment a bit longer.
Remove the weight and attach a regular lid when storing it in the fridge.
Enjoy with tortilla chips, to roasted meat, tossed into a summer garden salad and with some fresh cucumbers.
About Cornelia Holten
Cornelia is an herbalist and slow food educator with a passion for simple living, DIY, herbs and self-sufficiency. A certificate in Organic Horticulture, the Soil Food Web, an Apprenticeship in Herbal Medicine and living on a farm in Pigeon Bay equip her with a lot of knowledge and experience with growing food and living a healthy life.
She is teaching workshops on sustainable food systems, whole foods, fermentation, primal diets and organic gardening. A thirst for knowledge and a passion for new scientific studies keep her well informed on those topics.