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. After 4 weeks you would have so much fuzzy mould grown at the top that you can give your new pet a name.
Now you do the very 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. The production of lactic acid preserves the salsa and the probiotic bacteria are fabulous for your gut.
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 white or red 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 this mixture 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. If it is at your desired acidity level and has the right tanginess, remove the airlock and weights. Add a sealing lid and transfer to the fridge. Enjoy within 6 months.
If it is not sour at all it needs a bit longer. Give it another taste test after 12 hours and go from there. In colder weather it takes much longer than in hot summer weather.
Enjoy with tortilla chips, to roasted meat, tossed into a summer garden salad with some avocado and with some fresh cucumbers.