Sweet and Hot.
Begin anything and everything with garlic. Salsa, Pesto, Aoli, the possibilities beginning with garlic are endless, and besides that it is easy to grow.
When I see recipes that say “one or two cloves of garlic” I laugh. Even if you hated garlic, you should eat it because of all the health benefits, and if you are worried about garlic breath, then you have chosen the wrong mate. For how in the world can two worlds collide who don’t lavish garlic?
Here is the easiest way to peel garlic. Cut the entire bulb in half, then each clove will pop out of it’s shell, then cut off the root end just slightly.
Place the garlic in the food processor first, before you process anything else, and let the processor run until all is processed in tiny bits.
Next you process your herbs, in this case cilantro, two bunches. If you were making a salsa, pesto or herbal hummus, you would process the greens now, after the garlic. Pulse them. This means turning the blades on and off in a rapid motion, and continually scraping down the sides of the bowl so that the herbs or greens are evenly chopped, but not pulverized.
Next I processed, by pulsing, two onions. Peel and cut them into cubes, for easier pulsing into small bits.
Next I processed, by pulsing, several different varieties of peppers. Usually I leave the seeds and membranes of hot peppers I use, but since this is a sweet/hot salsa and that some of these peppers seemed hot to me, I seeded them (which means I took out the seeds and membranes.) I made a mental note as I was making this salsa: “do not attempt to take out your contact lenses tonight.” I failed at this, forgot, and burned my eyes. I’m not very good at following instructions. A few days ago we bought some reusable fly traps for the barn, called The Captivator. I laughed at the instructions “Wearing plastic gloves when baiting trap is also recommended, as the attractant has a pungent odor.” For heaven’s sake I even pick up road kill without gloves, and I was not going to be such a sissy and wear plastic gloves to open a tiny vial of stinky stuff. Well, my hands really stunk for a whole day, ugh, which reminded me that perhaps I should heed their other laughable instruction: ” Do not seal trap contents in an airtight container (e.g.: glass or plastic jar) as continued decomposition may cause an explosion.”
Next go in the peaches, which do not go in the food processor or they will get mushy. Wash and take a knife and make tiny wedges all around the peach, then cut across the wedges, making tiny pieces.
Two limes go in next. To get the most out of limes, I cut off the peel and process the entire lime in the food processor, so as to not waste anything.
Now you add everything else. 5 tablespoons of ground cumin and 5 teaspoons of salt. I started out with three each, but it wasn’t enough. I also added some sage honey for sweetness.
When I stirred everything together, it was still too hot, and I wanted it to be sweet and hot, so I added a jar of apricot sauce.
Now comes the fermenting part, which turns your salsa into a probiotic brew. Adding whey from yogurt or kefir will cause lactic acid and good bacteria to take up residence in your salsa and preserve it, and your gut. This whey is an extra golden color because it is from kefir I made from rich colostrum. Four tablespoons of whey to one quart of whatever you are trying to ferment. I made four quarts of salsa, and used 15 peaches. Make sure you leave at least one inch of headspace when you are fermenting in a jar. Add the 4 tablespoons of whey to each jar, put the lid on tight and turn over and over to incorporate the whey into the salsa. Shake the jar to settle everything down again and remember to loosen the lid. Leave in room temperature for three days and you will see some bubbles, which shows you that the lactic acid is doing its job. Refrigerate after three days and this salsa will keep for many months. A tomato salsa is made the same, but I would add roasted green chilies and tomatillos instead of the peaches and apricot sauce. The tomatoes and tomatillos I do cube and pulse in the food processor, which is fast and easier than dicing the peaches.
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Very interesting post. I suppose a little sourdough starter would work too…