lacto-fermented garden-fresh salsa

July 28, 2011

recipe requested by sonya!

i made two batches this go-round. one was a little sweeter, with carrot, sweet basil, little cherry tomatoes, a little jalapeno, turmeric, and fennel seed. one was very hot, with a ton of jalapeno, lemon basil, all kinds of heirloom tomatoes, turmeric, and garlic.

but you really can’t go wrong with anything involving garden tomatoes.

cut up your mixture into tiny chunks.

layer this mixture in the bottom of a clean mason jar with salt (coarse kosher or sea, please. it makes all the difference.) press as you go. the veggies will start creating brine as you work. keep going til you get near the top. add a little water and taste it. if it tastes saltier than your tears, you’re done. otherwise, add a little salt.

you can do this open-crock (see this post for more details; basically, you want to put a glass filled with water or a rock in the jar to keep the veggies submerged under the brine at all times) or with a lid on it (please burp the jar twice a day to avoid brining your ceiling)

other delicious add-ins? any fresh herb. any allium (i love onion in my salsa!) cauliflower. fruit. celery. sweet peppers (sometimes i have floating problems with these – weigh them down with carrots.) whatever you can imagine.

my advice? make a lot of this. i never thought i’d find something to replace my great love of homemade lacto-fermented giardinera, but the garden-fresh tomatoes put this salsa in my top three fermented veggies of all-time.


  1. i’m so. effing. on this. thanks!

  2. exciting! erica and I tried to lacto-ferment swiss chard stems last summer…looked like a science experiment and not food to eat. SO! I’d like to try again – – this salsa sounds so good!

    • i’ve had really fantastic luck with pickling chard stems – just cut them into bite-sized pieces and threw ’em in saltwater with minced garlic, ginger, a clove, and a chunk of cinnamon. they were amazing! what was science experiment-y about them? they’d probably be done in two or three days in this hot weather.

      • Hey Siggi,
        This is Erica from Jo’s account. I tried to use this book, Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning (http://www.amazon.com/Preserving-Food-without-Freezing-Canning/dp/1933392592), and there were two recipes for lacto-fermented swiss chard stems. Both were vague and involved rinsing the swiss chard stems in new water for a few days, then closing them off for a couple of months in salt water (nothing else). They lost all color and were definitely too salty to allow anything to ferment. I donno. I tried a little piece once, then ended up tossing all of the rest. It was kind of science experiment-y because it just didn’t seem like it would result in food!
        I’ll have to try pickling them instead of whatever that book was suggesting. Oh well.

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