You probably already know that eating fermented food is, as my Pop used to say, “good for your guts”. But, what you may not know, is that, guess what, guys… fermenting is EASY. Even after publishing a handful of articles on fermenting here on Homestead.org, I was still intimidated to try it, fearing I would mess it up and make myself sick or something. Well, it turns out that fermenting is pretty foolproof. You can easily get all of the beneficial bacteria of fermented food with a few ingredients from your garden or local produce stand, some salt, some mason jars, and a little patience. I started with this salsa recipe, because a.) I love fresh, homemade salsa, and b.) it sounded so simple that I wasn’t afraid to try my hand at fermenting. I’m so glad I did and I think you will be, too.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2-3 lbs tomatoes, cored
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 c. cilantro
2-3 chilies of your choice, or a bell pepper if you like it mild, roughly chopped
Juice of 2-4 limes
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 T. kosher or sea salt
These amounts are all estimated suggestions. Use more or less of whatever ingredients to suit your taste. The important thing to remember is that you need approximately 9 grams of salt for each pound of veggies.
The easy way to do this is in a food processor, but if you don’t have one, just chop/mince the ingredients to a size you like.
First, add the tomatoes to your food processor and pulse until they are the size you want. Pour them into a big bowl and then add the onion, chilies, cilantro, and garlic to the food processor, pulse again until you like the size of the pieces. Add the onion and other veggies to the tomatoes, along with the lime juice, and appropriate amount of salt. Mix well and pour into airtight containers.
Now, just leave the jars on the counter for 2-3 days. Bam! That’s it. Fermented salsa that you can store in the fridge for at least a couple of months. Pretty easy, right?