Monday, August 9, 2010

Lacto-Fermented Roasted Tomato Salsa

I've been wanting to try out a lacto-fermented salsa recipe for awhile now. With the first week of the Preserving Summer's Bounty Challenge focused on fermentation and last week's tomato festival at the farmers' market ($10 for a half-bushel of Roma tomatoes!), I figured this was the perfect time to try it out. I had come across a recipe for a roasted tomato lacto-fermented salsa on Cooking God's Way awhile back, so I dug it out and gave it a go on Friday. This takes some time to roast the veggies and let them cool, but then it comes together pretty quickly. It tastes amazing, too! We tried it last night. I think I'll be making at least a few more quarts of this after I get some more roma tomatoes this week. This first quart certainly isn't going to last long!

Lacto-fermented Roasted-Tomato Salsa

2 pounds Roma tomatoes (about 8 to 10), sliced in half length-wise
4 large cloves garlic (do not peel)
1 medium onion (yellow or red), sliced into thick rings but not separated
2 jalapeno peppers, left whole (I just used 1)
1 small bunch cilantro, or to taste
2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano
pinch ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 Tablespoon unrefined sea salt
4 Tablespoons whey

Preheat broiler to 500F. Have ready a large heavy-duty baking sheet. Gently smash cloves of garlic with the back of a spoon or drinking glass, leave skins on. Place tomato halves on baking sheet (cut side up), along with the sliced onion, garlic cloves, and jalapeno peppers. Place baking sheet in oven, directly under broiler, checking on them every 5 minutes. Turn as needed, when tops are browned and/or bubbly. Brown both sides, removing any pieces as necessary when they are finished.

Place broiled peppers into a plastic zip-top bag and seal. Allow to steam for 5 minutes. When done steaming; peel off the skin and remove stem, seeds, and membrane. Meanwhile mince all the vegetables (be sure to peel garlic first) to desired size

NOTE: If you have a food processor, mincing the vegetables is very easy and quick to do. Just pulse all ingredients, individually in the food processor. It is important NOT to mince them all at once, or you will end up with half the ingredients turned into a puree before the other half gets to the size you want.

As you mince each ingredient (tomatoes, garlic, onion, peppers, cilantro) add it to a medium mixing bowl. When everything is minced and added to the bowl, add the lemon (or lime) juice, cumin, and oregano; stir gently to combine. Stir in the whey and sea salt. Taste and add ground cayenne pepper as desired.

Pour salsa mixture into a quart-sized mason jar, screw-on lid with metal band. OR Use a quart-sized Fermented Vegetable Master, they work wonders and really make all your fermented veggies taste better. (Always remember to leave 1-inch of space from the top of the jar to allow for expansion.)

Leave at room-temperature for 2 days before transferring to cold storage.

Makes 1-quart.

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