I found myself taking the winter off from making any sort of probiotic (aka lacto-fermented) veggies. But now that the weather is finally warming up and we have our seedlings all ready to plant in the garden this week, my mind drifted back to thoughts of delicious, uber-healthy probiotic pickled veggies. I’ve made tons of other ferments, but this is admittedly my first crack at making salsa…and definitely won’t be my last!!
This salsa is hands down my new favourite salsa, probiotic or not. The flavours are incredible and the fact that it’s loaded with healthy, healing, probiotics is just the icing on the cake. The best news is that is that it is soooo easy! Chop, mix, add your ingredients to a mason jar (or crock would work too) and let those lactobacilli do their magic for a couple days…and VOILA! The tastiest, healthiest salsa around.
Simply chop and mix your ingredients in a large bowl. Let sit for a few minutes to let the salt really draw the liquid out of the tomatoes. Then pour into a 1 L mason jar (or other fermentation vessel), and using some kind of a tamper (I used the tamper from my vitamix, but something like the bottom of a hairspray bottle would work well too), really push down all the vegetables so they become submerged under the brine. Tighten the lid on, and then slightly loosen it so that the gasses can escape. If your veggies do not stay under the brine, then every day tamp them down again. You can add a tiny bit of water and an extra pinch of salt if there isn’t quite enough liquid.
If you have a sauerkraut weight you can use that to keep things submerged, but since this is a really short ferment, just tamping them down every day will be ok. Let sit on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight for 2-5 days. If you house is warmer than about 22 degrees C, check it for taste on day 2. Or if your house is cooler then start checking on day 3. If for some reason you notice a little bit of mold forming on the top of the veggies (only happens if veggies aren’t submerged), don’t panic! Simply scoop out and discard the layer of vegetables on the top, the rest of your salsa will be fine.
- (It is strongly recommended to use organic herbs and produce as conventional produce can be sprayed with chemicals that can inhibit the growth of lactobacillus)
- ¼ of a medium red onion, diced
- 5-6 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- optional 1-2 jalapeños, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- juice of 2 limes
- juice of ½ large lemon
- large handful cilantro, chopped (you can add in with your ferment or if you like a brighter green color and stronger flavour you can add just before serving)
- approx 2-3 tsp salt (be sure to use a natural, non-iodized salt like himalayan or sea salt) OR if you need to limit your salt intake you can instead use 1 tsp salt + ¼ c organic whey (the liquid that separates out from plain yogurt) or ¼ unflavoured finished water kefir
- 1 L mason jar with lid
- Add onion, tomatoes, pepper, jalapeno, garlic, lemon and lime juice to a large bowl. If you are adding the cilantro at the beginning, add that as well. Slowly add up to 3 tsp of salt to the mixture until it tastes as salty as potato chips (should be between 2-3 tsp).
- Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the salt draw out some of the liquid from the tomatoes.
- Pour mixture into mason jar, including all the juices. Tamp the vegetables down firmly (I used the tamper from my vitamix, but the bottom of a hairspray bottle would work) to try to get them under the surface of the brine. If there is not enough brine add a tiny bit of water (ideally filtered) and a pinch more salt. Scrape down any particles stuck to the side of the jar. Anything exposed to air can potentially get moldy so either have it under the brine or remove it.
- Tighten the lid and then loosen it slightly. We don't want air getting in but there will be some gasses that need to escape. Let sit 2-5 days at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. If you notice the veggies coming to the top of the brine, just tamp them down again once per day.
- Start tasting on day 2 if your house is warm (over 22 degrees C), and on day 3 if your house is cooler.
- If you notice that there is a little mold on the top, that is ok - just scoop out and discard the top layer, the rest will be fine.
- Will keep in the fridge up to 2 weeks.