This isn’t just any old salsa. This is fermented salsa.
If you’re like me, you love salsa. It’s true, I grew up in Texas. But salsa isn’t just for Texans anymore. Salsa is the number one condiment in America (mustard is number two).
What’s fermented salsa, you ask? It means it’s probiotic. Like yogurt or kefir. With all the assaults we have on our gut flora — from antibiotics to the birth control pill to chlorinated water — we need more probiotics.
And in summertime, when we have an abundance of tomatoes in our gardens, it’s the perfect time to make salsa.
That’s a picture of my dear step-father, and native Texan, Otter, chopping peppers. He’s not wearing gloves. But he’s a Texan — we’re tough. (Plus, he has a special technique — look how clean his board is and how perfect those peppers are.) I recommend wearing the gloves.
Oh, and did I mention that because this salsa is fermented, it will keep in the fridge for weeks and even months on end?
Stay tuned. I’ll be posting my recipe for tortilla chips fried in coconut oil soon.
Chili peppers (1-2 serranos or 1/2-1 jalapeno, depending on how hot you like it)
Medium fresh tomatoes (4), or canned tomatoes (1 pound), organic if possible — where to buy canned tomatoes
Medium white or yellow onion, organic if possible (1)
Garlic cloves (2)
Lemons or 3 limes, organic if possible (2)
Sea salt (1 TBS) — where to buy sea salt or
whey (2 TBS) — if you don’t have any whey, use an additional 1 tablespoon salt
Optional: 1 bunch oregano, fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Optional: cilantro (1 bunch), fresh
Optional: Filtered water
1. Wearing gloves, cut open the chiles and discard the stems and seeds (If you don’t wear gloves, you risk burns — trust me, I’ve done it. I advise wearing the gloves.) Set aside.
2. If using fresh tomatoes, peel and deseed them: Fill a large saucepan halfway with water, set on high heat and bring to a boil. Carefully set tomatoes in saucepan and let sit for 5-10 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon or tongs. Cool and peel. Cut tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out the seeds, or scoop out with a spoon, and discard. Set aside.
3. Peel and quarter the onion and peel and smash or crush the garlic.
4. If using fresh herbs, rinse, dry and chop them, discarding the stems.
5. Place the peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and optional herbs into the food processor (you can also do this by hand — just dice everything with a sharp knife).
6. Squeeze the 2 lemons or 3 limes and add the juice.
7. Add the sea salt and whey.
8. Pulse several times (more or less for desired consistency).
9. Transfer to quart-sized mason jar. Add a little filtered water if necessary (if you like it more liquid and it’s too chunky). If you add water, put the lid on and shake it up so it’s incorporated. Make sure to leave at least an inch of space from the top of the jar.
10. Cover and keep at room temperature for 2-3 days before transferring to the fridge. Salsa will keep for weeks or months in fridge.