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Fermented salsa

Fermented tomato salsa

PT20M

PT

Now I agree a fresh tomato salsa is absolutely delicious! Summer perfection! So why bother to ferment one..? I’ve made this ferment twice. The first occasion was late last summer, when buckets of firm green tomatoes at the market were being sold for next-to-nothing as it was too late in the season from them to ripen fully. And second was after a recent food shoot, where enormous amounts of tomatoes were at risk of going to waste… So this recipe came about through the time-old need to preserve a glut. If you can try this one with green tomatoes definitely do – it’s sensational.

It works as any chutney, salsa or relish. It’s amazing with cheese toasties, as a bruschetta topping, or simply mopped up with fresh sourdough, olive oil and dukkah. It’s equally good dolloped on curries and tagines. It’s best at room temperature rather than cold from the fridge.

1
Here we are working with the ‘dry-salt’ method of fermentation, and so will be using a ratio of 2% salt: we’ve got 1kg tomatoes in all, so that’s 20g sea salt. Disinfect the Kilner jar, and wash your board, knife and hands well
2
Blend together all the ingredients for the ferment paste until smooth. Mix the ferment paste with the chopped tomatoes and diced shallot. Tip into a Kilner jar and pack down well
3
Leave to ferment at room temperature for anywhere between 4–7 days. I find this salsa starts to ferment more quickly, and tends to continue fermenting in the fridge, although of course very slowly. More hardy ferments, such as sauerkraut, will take longer to get going, and become completely dormant once cold, I find
4
Burp the jar each morning and night, to prevent too pressure building up inside. Check the tomatoes after as little as 2 days. See how they are faring and pop in the fridge when you’re happy. The will last in the fridge for up to 2 months

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