I wanted to call this the “Wild and Weird Salsa”, because of the ingredients, well mostly the one weird ingredient: Pomegranate seeds. I kept thinking what red vegetable (I know it’s a fruit, I was just relaying my thoughts) would be a symbol for the holiday season. I made a red bell pepper and kale kraut for a health fair and that looked pretty festive, it was also delicious, but I wanted something that would stick out and scream “It’s friggin’ Christmas, burst into the holiday spirit or something, already!” I may have been overrelying on my food to bring my christmas joy, my fermented food no less…
So there was born the pomegranate seed festive fermented salsa recipe!! It is a big hit, even now, my 5 year old son Raiden Sage whom never ventured down the salsa path before, was digging in with his plantain chips and loving it. My husband refused to let me bring it to work and share! They are kinda pissed with him…
Now the recipe…
– 2, 500 ml cans of organic diced tomatoes (Dr. Mercola goes on about the acidic nature of tomatoes and we should never buy them canned because the plastic lining in the cans will be acidified right off of there and give us xenoestrogen gender bending hormone issues…. I believe that fermenting will clean all that up and if you do consume a fair amount of canned tomatoes… it may be time to choose glass or be aware to take a break, cleanse your liver and perhaps take some kind of ginseng-like herbal adaptogen. I will be writing more about estrogen cleansing soon, very soon) Also try garden or farm fresh tomatoes, diced about 4 cups.
–1 head of fresh fennel, diced.
–5 celery sticks, diced (I cut off some of the leaves, fearing that the celery would over power the taste as it was, but it didn’t, so add leaves!)
-2 large bell pepper, diced
–1/2 lemon, squeezed
–1 red onion, diced
–3 cloves of garlic, minced
–2 medium pomegranates, seeds removed and tossed into the mix (optional, but strongly recommended)
–2 large bunches of dinosaur kale, bottom part of the stem removed, but if you are into the extra chopping, mince that stem!
–1 Tablespoon of unrefined sea salt
–1 to 4 Tablespoons of water kefir starter (or yogurt whey, or leftover raw pickling brine from a previous batch of pickles or carrots… hopefully we are all fermenting regularly, right!!???)
Blend all the ingredients together. Pour into a glass mason jar with at least 2 inches of space from the top. Water KEFIR has a very effervescent quality to it; that means it is alive, it will start creeping the salsa up the jar so it needs that room for expansion.
I recommend ‘burping’ it twice per day (opening the lid and you will here a pop or burp). Fermentation for fruits (tomato) will only take 2-3 days at room temperature, 4 days in a colder space. REMEMBER: have a taste and see if the flavour is sour (fermented) and not overly salty. The longer you leave it to ferment, the more sour, and with the water kefir starter, the more “beer” tasting it will become. Especially tomato or sugary veggie/fruit- based ferments will get puffy looking, bubbly… BUT if you add more kale or any dark leafy green vegetable it will slow the fermentation time down.
As soon as it tastes ready, place in the fridge to slow the fermentation process. Eat the salsa within 4 weeks… if it lasts that long!