Really? Yes, really. I know it is not very likely to exactly replicate this, because how often can you get your hands on the most tomatoey black tomatoes, sweet heirloom peppers and super grapey blue grapes? We are the luckiest to have the very best farmer, Mark Waltermire from Thistle Whistle who brings his incredibly creative produce to the farmers market. Eye candy to be sure. But in any case, it is easy to substitute anything, and next time I will make this with small wild plums instead of grapes.
First of all, no big surprise, you start by processing one head of garlic. I ordered 10 pounds of 5 different varieties of garlic from Mark this weekend. I usually procrastinate, or forget, to buy enough garlic to plant, and garlic is definitely something easy and wonderful to plant. Mark grows hard neck varieties for our climate, and these are my favorites because of the intense flavor and that there are usually 6 big, fat cloves, easy to peel, rather than 15 to 20 tiny cloves from most soft neck garlic. Even if you don’t want to plant garlic (each clove planted now will make a head of garlic next year, plus delicious scapes and garlic greens), you should order some now to stockpile for the winter and spring.
The black tomatoes he had were so captivatingly gorgeous, I could not pass them up, even though I had no idea what I would do with them.
I cut out the stem part and cut them in half.
Process in batches so the processor is not too full. Pulse about 10 times so the tomatoes are still in nice big chunks.
Process two onions and two large bunches of fresh cilantro. I always include the flavorful stems as well.
I bought these organic blue grapes a few days ago at the grocery store, as I just could not pass them up. They have such an intense grape flavor, and I was going to make a grape ketchup, which I still might, as I only used one bag. Since this salsa will be lacto-fermented I wanted to keep the grapes whole, and since they are tiny I did not want to cut them in half. Champagne grapes would be perfect for this.
I love using grapes in floral arrangements as well.
Stir well to see what you need to add..
I had a few more red tomatoes that I did not want to go to waste, so I added them in as well.
Add one tablespoon of real salt and two heaping tablespoons of whole cumin seed.
I wish I knew the name of this sweet pepper, and I will ask next weekend, as the flavor is incredible. I want to dehydrate some for a sweet chile powder.
I was not really sure it would be sweet, but it is sweet and mild, so I processed all of them.
Stir well. I did not think it needed anything and the flavors will meld after a few days. I added about a half a cup of kefir whey to kickstart the lacto-fermentation.
This salsa is delightfully sweet with a mild salsa kick. I’m on a sweet and hot phase right now, as the Peach Fire is fantastic, and I made a similar Raspberry Fire with wild raspberries from the Local Market, and a jar of Rosemary Cherries.
Pack in mason jars and screw the lid on, but not too tight. Leave in room temperature for 3 to 4 days until fermentation begins, then put in refrigerator. Will last for several months unopened.