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fermented salsa

this salsa is right out of the pages of Nourishing Traditions, which is probably the best cookbook going.  not because it has the best-tasting recipes, but because it is a storehouse of archaic techniques which are all hard-won secret human moves for survival.  this superlative salsa is is spicy without being overwhelming,  has a little fizz and truly showcases summers produce.  this salsa goes great with grilled cheese, scrambled eggs and just about anything else that could benefit from a little pop!  it has the added bonus of food-as-medicine with its digestion-enhancing lactobacilli.

2 cups tomatoes, peel, chop
3/4 cup green onion, chop
1 green pepper, not spicy
1-2 jalapenos, seed, chop
3/4 cilantro, chop
2 gloves garlic
4 Tbl whey
1 Tbl sea salt
filtered water
quart mason jar


begin by peeling the tomatoes.  bring a pot of water to boil.  carefully slide the tomatoes into the water with a slotted spoon.  leave for 5 to 30 seconds.  the tomato skins will begin to split.  remove the tomatoes and transfer to cold water to cool.  at this point the skins with slip easily off.  remove the core and chop into 1/2" pieces.

add the chopped tomatoes with their juices to a large bowl.  prepare the rest of the ingredients and mix them into bowl with tomatoes.  with a wooden mallet, vita mix plunger or meat hammer, lightly pound to release the juices.  transfer the mixture to a quart sized mason jar, pressing down until the liquid is just above the vegetables.  add filtered water if needed to bring the level up to 1 inch below top of the jar.  screw the lid on tightly and leave at room temperature for 1-3 days, ideally between 55 and 70 degrees.  keep in mind the whey really sets things off: the warmer the ambient temperature, the faster your salsa will ferment.  usually you can find some nook in a closet or pantry where things stay cool.  if where youre keeping your salsa is 80 degrees, your jars might fizz over a bit or even explode.  if theres a hot spell or somehow the temperature rises, release the lid to let off pressure (quickly! just a quick twist), screw it back on and store in the fridge.  cooling the salsa (or any fermented foods) in the fridge will drastically slow the fermentation process.  it sounds tricky, but checking on your ferments is a standard procedure that will soon become second nature as you get more excited about fermenting stuff and how good it can make you feel to eat it.

after your salsa has been sitting out a for a few days, store it in the fridge.  keep your salsa front and center to avoid it getting lost in the back with last years moldy ketchup!

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