When life hands you tomatoes...


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Oct 12, 2020
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ferment salsa.

When life hands you tomatoes...

Tomatoes, peppers (sweet and chiles), onions, garlic, and celery all grown by us this year. We are attempting some different things this year with what we've been able to grow. Aside from some canned tomatoes, fermented cherry tomatoes, tomato sauce, and dried tomatoes, I wanted to try making a salsa. Based on a recipe I'd seen, I was going to add some lime juice but forgot. I got some advice recently on fermenting that suggests that if you use 3% salt by weight, you shouldn't have anything go bad, so I did bring out the kitchen scale and did some math to determine the correct amount.

These three jars are at three different heat levels. I added three or four Black Hungarian to the base "mild" salsa. After filling that jar, I added a Grandpa's Siberian Home...I tried one earlier to determine how potent they might be and learned these little guys punch above their weight. It was pretty intense. I filled the "medium" jar, then added another GSH for the last "hot" jar. In a few days we should be able to have a taste test.

One challenge with something like a salsa is that you can't rinse the salt off. Most of my ferments so far have been saltier than I'm used to eating. I guess that is a good reason to consume these fermented foods in moderation.

Another tomato preparation we are trying for the first time this year is something we learned at YouTube University. If you dry tomatoes, then turn them into a powder (She Who Must Be Obeyed has been using a small Bullet blender), they store well. You can add a spoon to a soup or stew for some flavour and you can add some water to some tomato powder to turn into a paste, or add more water to make tomato sauce. It's an idea I don't recall hearing before and it seems to be a powerful way to deal with a glut of tomatoes and easily handle them for storage.
How did they go mate? Just wondering if you'd mind sharing the process for fermented salsa as I've made kimchi and would love to try making this! Tomatoes are so amazing and versatile what a cool way to use them as something new, well done you!
Hi @Briztank - overall I'd say it went well, with some cautions. I got the basic process online, quite possibly YouTube. It's a matter of choosing your ingredients (I used tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, some onion, I think garlic, and a bit of celery for variety). I used 3% salt by weight...I've been advised that's enough that a ferment won't go bad. I did make three levels - the mildest one just has some Black Hungarian peppers, which are quite mild. After filling that jar, I added a Grandpa's Siberian Home (small but much more intense)...after filling the "medium" salsa jar, I added another Siberian to make the last jar the hottest. The guide I had suggested just a 2-3 day ferment. Mine probably went a bit longer as I didn't get around to dealing with them.

Since we had a glut of tomatoes I just used the ripest we had. That means I didn't use a paste type, so the end product is quite wet. I don't think we'll be able to really use them straight from the jar, but will have to spoon some out so we can drain it a bit. I've been watching blood pressure for a long time, so have had a fairly low salt diet. To me, these are quite salty. The rest of the family hasn't tried any yet...perhaps it's time for a Mexican night or something.

I hope that answers your questions. I'm new to fermenting this year, so I'm just trying out new things and hoping for the best.
Man 3% salt is off putting, with kimchi etc. you're able to wash the excess salt off but a cool idea! Maybe I'll make a small amount to try and experiment with no or less salt after that 🤔 cheers for the inspiration mate beauty!
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