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Spicy Fermented Salsa (from
Makes 1 quart

  1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 to 2 anaheim peppers, minced 
1 to 2 bell peppers, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon pickling salt or sea salt
Juice from 1 lime
Extra-virgin olive oil

1  In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together (including the juices from your tomatoes), but do not add the olive oil yet.

2  Pour the salsa into a quart-sized jar and run a chopstick around the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.

3  Add a half-inch layer of olive oil on top. The olive oil serves two purposes here: one, it prevents the vegetables from rising above the water and growing mold on the surface, and two, it adds a richness to the salsa once you mix it in.

4  Loosely seal the jar with a lid and leave it out of direct sunlight for a few days. The warmer your room temperature is, the faster your salsa will ferment. You’ll start to see fizzies as the lactic acid bacteria flourish. In my very warm kitchen this summer, it took four days to develop a bold, tangy flavor. You could leave it for up to a week for the tang to intensify; the longer you let it ferment, the longer the salsa will keep.

5  Once the salsa’s to your liking, refrigerate the jar. The olive oil will congeal in the cold temp, but is perfectly safe to eat. Just mix it in with a spoon before you use the salsa, or let the jar rest at room temp before serving.

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