Spicy Fermented Salsa

Shop Ingredients


3-4 C tomatoes, diced
1/2 red or spring onion, diced
1/2 to 1 chilli, finely minced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C chopped coriander leaves
zest and juice from 1 lime (or lemon)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
extra-virgin olive oil for the jar


First published Feb 2015.

Everything is being fermented these days. Here the already great tomato salsa is getting the good gut treatment, transformed by the bright, effervescent taste of our friend lactobacillus. So enjoy this instantly, but if you can manage a little delayed gratification you may be surprised how much better it can get. In the spirit of experimentation you could make 2 jars and conduct your own comparison. One fresh for now, one fermented for winter.

Ideas for enjoying salsa: Chargrilled sweet corn, warm tortillas with lashings of avocado and cucumber, a pot of black beans with smoky chipotle, some pan fried haloumi, all of the above or tuck in with a bag of crunchy corn chips.

Gently combine all the ingredients in a bowl (except the olive oil). Try not to eat it all, and spoon into a clean jar or two. Encourage any air bubbles to come up by poking around with a chopstick, and then add a few centimetres of oil on top to stop any mould from accessing the goodies underneath. Place the lid loosely on top and leave on the bench where it is out of direct sunlight. After about 4-5 days, you will have a delicious and super charged salsa. How long depends on your taste and the weather – the warmer the kitchen, the quicker the lacto- bacillus will get to work. A little fizzyness in the juice will confirm that they are on track, so when it tastes good to you, pop it in the fridge for later or devour instantly.

If left to ferment until it has developed a bold tang, it would store quite a while in the fridge like that old jar of sauerkraut that never gets old. Imagine opening a jar of your own probiotic, spicy tomato salsa this winter! What joy.

(A composted combination of recipes shared by Milkwood, Pip Permaculture Magazine, and gardenbetty.com)


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