Monday, August 22, 2011

Cultured Salsa

When I think of salsa, I think of this...

Not to be confused with this...

(photo credit)
Which is just down-right dangerous in my book. Unless you think this is me in the picture, in which case, it was easy. Because I'm a pro.

Did you buy it?

I tried.

If you haven't made homemade salsa, you're missing out on a something special. Lacto-fermented salsa is not heated or water-bathed canned, so it tastes fresh up to 6 months after it's made. I make several batches every year and hide store them in the back of our spare fridge. Of course, the salsa never sees the arrival of Autumn, so it lasting a full 6 months is just an assumption on my part.

That, and I read it on other blogs, so it must be true.

Apparently, they don't like salsa as much as we do.

The key to lacto-fermenting salsa is the sea salt and whey. I have seen other recipes that do not use the whey, but use up to 4 Tb. of sea salt instead. I tried that my first year and it was way too salty for our tastes. Remember to taste test and adjust accordingly.

~Lacto-Fermented Salsa~

4 lbs. organic tomatoes (I used a variety of heirloom tomatoes.)
2 medium sweet onions, like Walla Walla or Vidalia
1 large, organic sweet red pepper, seeded and rough-chopped
**2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and rough chopped**
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
Optional: 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 2 lemons or limes
1-2 Tb. sea salt
4 Tb. whey (from drained yogurt)

Peel tomatoes by placing in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then immediately dumping into icy water. The skin will come off easily.

I guess mine would too.

Core the tomatoes, then place in food processor. Pulse until tomatoes are chopped up, but not liquefied. (Unless that is your preference.) Pour tomatoes into large bowl.

Place onions, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro leaves in food processor and pulse until chopped fine. (If using garlic, add this too.) Add this mixture to the tomatoes.

Add lemon or lime juice, whey, and sea salt. Stir will. Taste to check flavor and heat; adjust as necessary.

Pour salsa into wide-mouthed jars (I ended up with 1/2 gallon + 1 quart). Wipe top of jar and place screw-top lid on. Leave on counter for 2 days; then place in the refrigerator.

Then send the kids to Gramma's house and enjoy!

Oh wait, the kids saw me making this...darn.☺

**Remember to use gloves when cutting hot peppers! The "heat" doesn't wash off with soap and water, and can bring new meaning to the song, "Come On Baby Light My Fire"...

...just sayin'.☺

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday.


Cindy said...

A small amount of bleach on your hands will neutralize the heat from the peppers :) Another use for this is to marinade meat in it. YUM!

MamaTea said...

You mean that wasn't you in the dance picture? Come on!

Salsa rocks, and this one looks fabulous!!

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I've been fermenting for a couple of seasons now, and salsa is one of our favorites! I do not peel my tomatoes, just core and chop. And mine has not been hot enough lately...i think my jalapenos have been on the mild side. I will increase them for this next batch. The biggest problem with fermenting is lack of refrigerator space! My basement fridge is already full with fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and escabeche!

Sarah @ Mum In Bloom said...

You're hilarious and I'm so glad I found your blog and recipe. How much head space do you leave or does it matter? I've printed this and will be making it soon :)

Kim said...

Sarah~Thank you, and I'm glad you found me too! :) I leave a 1-inch space in the jar to allow the salsa to "expand" while it's fermenting.