Fermented Salsa Verde

With Christmas and the holiday season on the brain everyone is stressing out thinking about cookies, homemade gifts and of course the holiday meal. Festivity is in the air, and this time of year I always see the same process. Its an annual tradition of excess, and remorse. Me? I’m always thinking the usual.  How do I manage to prevent “further expansion”? How do I get good great food into my family? Bad tasting food is never an option, and processed convenience foods are not my friend. (or anyone else’s) My boys are all super fickle, and rarely compromising. Balance is necessary all year long, not just in January. Ultimately un-processing my our diet is my all the time, every day of the year, long term goal. One step at a time, keeping in mind that flexibility is absolutely critical for anyone balancing the scales. I know that if my boys don’t get what they want, they will shove off what they need. The real key is creating a balance between what I know our bodies need, and what they happen to love.

Fermented Salsa Verde Guacamole

One of the easiest ways to eat well balanced meals in my home has always been tex-mex-esque foods. Salsa, chicken, rice, avocado, corn tortillas, these are all very good options that are great, affordable foods. I’ve purged the pantry, I’ve made major changes to my already out of the norm cupboards. Although they look fairly barren, pretty quickly,  its a comfort to me to know that I read the labels on most of the things in there. (or better yet there is no label at all because I made it myself!) My love of canning developed into my love of home brewing, sourdough, fermented foods and even homemade dairy. Its an evolution, and now that I’ve started I can NOT get enough. Slightly souring salsa turns something great into something extraordinary. It enriches your salsa with a richer amount of nutrients, beneficial bacteria and of course an entirely different more complex flavor. You can turn practically any condiment of any variety into a fermented food by simply adding whey. Allowing the mixture to rest at room temperature for a few days allows for something incredible to evolve. Fermenting is not only incredible tasting, but fermented foods have a severely prolonged shelf life. Its ridiculously easy to do, and absolutely scrumptious!

“When we subscribe to nutritional dogma, we assign emotional and moral values to our food” (The Nourished Life)
Fermented Salsa Verde

Tomatillo’s and peppers are available all year long in any decent grocery mart. The beauty of this salsa for me was that I got the peppers and tomatillo’s from the local CSA in August. About five pounds of banana peppers was $2, and the tomatillo’s were a buck or so as well. With Thai chili’s we had stashed in the freezer from a family friend this salsa was perfectly spicy, local and cheap.

Ok yes, I said August. Fermenting makes the finished product extremely long lasting in the fridge. This salsa is still as delicious now as it was four months ago when I made it. You can roast the tomatillos and/or peppers for a profound toasty taste, you can also leave everything entirely raw. Just the same as   traditional style fermented salsa, this will ferment at room temperature until its as sour as you would like it. On average expect about 3-4 days.

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked (10-14 avg. sized)
  • 2-3 banana peppers
  • 2-3 Thai chili peppers (or jalapenos)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (fresh if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt and/or 1 tablespoon whey
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon oregano, cilantro, cumin (more to taste)
1: Blanch tomatillos- 
Husk and wash tomatillos. Place husked and washed tomatillos into boling water for 3-4 minutes or until the color slightly changes. They may burst, at this time they are definitely done. Remove and place into a bowl of ice water. (or rinse under wicked cold water)
2: Chop or Blend-
Place tomatillos into food processor or  blender, pulse until coarsely chopped. If you are using a food processor you can have a chunkier salsa. Add all remaining ingredients and pulse until coarsely chopped, or fairly smooth according to your own preference. A smooth blender salsa is perfect for chips or enchiladas.
3: Ferment- 
Place into a sterile non metallic jar. A mason jar or any clean pickle/sauce/condiment jar that is glass will work. Place lid on the salsa and allow to ferment at room temperature 3-4 days. Just leave it on the counter or somewhere out of the way. Open it to smell it after 2-3 days. If it smells vinegary, sour and sweet its ready for a taste. Taste it, if it sour to your liking place it in the fridge. Once fermented it will last in the fridge for a pretty long time. (Fermenting it is entirely optional, this exact recipe is delicious as-is simply reduce the quanitity of salt and place it into your fridge for approximately one week.)
Whey- Whey is the liquid separated from the curds when making cheese. You can use whey left over from my yogurt cheese recipe or you can substitute an additional tablespoon of salt. Many people make a variety of Lacto-Fermented goods by simply adding whey to it. Example if you want lacto-fermented ketchup or mayo, just add a few tablespoons of whey to the jar. If you don’t feel like making cheese, or want it dried and on hand, You can also purchase a powdered culture. 
This method and recipe is not “government approved”. Fermenting can have adverse affects if not tended to properly. I always encourage you to educate yourself, and draw your own conclusions. To learn more about suggested fermenting and canning safety guidelines see the USDA’s guide to home canning
‎”harmful chemicals are not the only obstacles.toxic thoughts, toxic emotions, toxic relationships also hinder the body’s functions”- 
Dr. Junger