In my (almost) three years of running The Elliott Homestead Cooking Community, this fermented salsa recipe has become one of the most popular and most requested. It's the only way that I make salsa now because it's so ridiculously easy and fast. I don't have to bust out the canner. I don't have to do really anything, actually. Just pluck the harvest of beautiful vegetables from the garden, blend them up, add salt, and let the bacteria do what it is that they do best. Turn what would be an ordinary medley of salsa vegetables into a probiotic powerhouse that will last in the refrigerator until the next harvest.
This fermented salsa is how I preserve almost all of my tomatoes and peppers. The bonus is you don't need a HUGE batch of vegetables to make it. Make a jar here and there as vegetables tricking in out of the garden.
Everyone once in awhile, I try to share a recipe from TECC here with y'all so you can know what fun we're having over there! If you'd like to get 5 brand new, whole-food recipes delivered to you each month, an instructional cooking video walking you through each recipe, and a private community of homecooks, join The Elliott Homestead Cooking Community right here.
- 6 pounds tomatoes (such as Roma)
- 1 pound onions
- 1 pound bell pepper (or pepper of choice)
- 2 cups cilantro, minced
- 12 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 chilies or jalepenos
- 4 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp cumin
- Chop the tomatoes into large chunks and remove the stems. Add some of the pieces to a food processor and pulse to the desired texture. Repeat with the remaining batches of tomatoes. Add them all to a large bowl.
- Peel and chop the onions into large pieces. Add the pieces to the food processor and pulse to the desired texture. Add the onions to the large bowl.
- Remove the stem from the peppers and chilis. Chop them into large pieces. Add the pieces to the food processor and pulse to the desired texture. Add to the bowl.
- Add the cilantro, garlic, sea salt, and cumin to the bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Add the salsa to a clean, glass jar with a non metallic lid. Fill the jar to 1 ½” of the top. Let the salsa sit at room temperature for 3 days. During that time, you may need to untwist the lid “burp” the salsa a few times to allow the gases to escape.
- Store the salsa in a refrigerator and enjoy!
Hi, Unfortunately, I’m allergic to garlic and was wondering if this would affect fermentation? Thanks.
Hi Shawn. The absence of garlic will not affect the fermentation. The fermentation is from the salt.
That’s true that the lack of garlic won’t effect fermentation, but fermentation is not from salt. It is from bacteria like lactobacillus living on the vegetables and in the environment. Salt helps keep bad bacteria at bay while the good bugs do their work.
Does it need to be refrigerated after fermenting or just in a cool place? Below what temperature do you suggest?
Can I substitute parsley for the cilantro ? Thanks !
Yes. Use whatever herbs suit your fancy. I love to add oregano sometimes.
Yes! I always substitute cilantro with italian parsley, ’cause for me, cilantro has this soapy taste (it’s a genetic thing).
Will using a ball canning flat and ring ruin the salsa? Thats all I have to fit my jar…
You just need to add parchment paper between. You don’t want the acidity from the salsa rusting your top and ring!
Just wondering if a fermentation weight is necessary to make this salsa? Or can I make it he salsa in a crock or jar without worrying about submerging the veggies before the liquid? Thanks so much!
I’m not OP but it’s standard to use a fermentation weight to keep the veggies under the brine.
how long does the salsa typically store for? This is my first time giving it a whirl 🙂
Can I use a metal lid after the fermentation process for storing in the refrigerator??
I’m not the author of the article but I wouldn’t recommend the metal lid with acidic foods as it can wear away at the lid. But I’ve placed parchment paper between the metal lids and salsa before to avoid this.
Thank you for sharing! I just made this last night and set some aside – without fermentation – to test out. Does it get less salty through fermentation? I know saltiness is highly subjective but curious about your thoughts.
Help!! I made this and all of it molded. It was molded by the second day. We followed the recipe and weighed all of our ingredients. I’m so disappointed and frustrated at all my work to just have to throw it away.
Hiya! I love the idea of lacto-fermenting salsa. Curious if it can be stored in a root cellar? or what is the temperature range these can be stored? thank you so much