fermented corn salsa
Our CSA has been amazing this year: big love goes out to Live Power farm and the apprentices that keep the show on the road and the weeds hoed! last week there were 8 ears of corn, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, beans, squash, basil, dill, lettuce, carrots, beets... oh my, abundance! other succotash, a new favorite around the household, this cultured salsa recipe is one of the best things we know to do with corn. like many of our ferments, the notion came while perusing the fermented section of nourishing traditions. after countless trials, this seems to be the recipe that hits a home run. the tricky part with fermentation is getting a hold of the culturing process. this ferment happens very quickly. corn has a high sugar content (in comparison to something like cabbage) which makes the process a fast one, and creates a lot of carbon dioxide build-up. meaning, this is not the ferment to leave alone for a few days, the pressure that builds up in the jar can be amazing and explosive. we've gone to unscrew a bulging tight lid after waiting too long and had a bubbling mess all over the counter.
2 1/2 C corn, cut fresh from the cob1/2 C onion, dice1 C tomato, peel and chop1/2 C mild green pepper, dice1/2 C cilantro, chop1 - 2 cloves garlic, mince1 cayenne or jalapeno pepper, minced (or 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes)1 Tbl sea salt1 Tbl whey1/4 tsp cuminoptional 1 tsp curry powderfiltered waterAdd all the ingredients to a non-reactive sturdy mixing bowl. lightly pound for 3-5 minutes to incorporate and release juices. mix well before adding to a quart mason jar. press down until the vegetables sit below the liquid and there is 1 inch of head space at the top of the jar. if necessary add filtered water to cover the vegetables or remove a tablespoon or two of veg to make sure you have both the head space and the veg under liquid. secure a lid and place on the counter for a few days. 2-3 times a day it is helpful to release some of the carbon dioxide buildup by momentarily loosening the lid. after 2 to 3 days refrigerate your salsa. i like to give it a few days to mellow in the fridge before digging in.
If your kitchen is warmer than 85 degrees or so the fermentation can happen very fast! if your jar threatens to overflow, place in the refrigerator to slow the process down.