Roasted, Raw and Fermented: Heirloom Salsa

Ah, the bounty of a Texas summer!

Heirloom Salsa

Heirloom Salsa

This homemade salsa combines the dark smokiness of roasted heirloom tomatoes, garlic, sweet onions and peppers with the fresh taste of raw tomatoes, cilantro and lime.

As good as this is, it is even better if allowed to ferment into a pro-biotic riot of Southwest flavor..

(click to enlarge)

For 1 pint

1 large heirloom tomato, quartered
1 medium Texas 1015 onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic
1-2 jalapeño peppers
1 mild red New Mexico pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 chile chipotle (Dorado or Morita), soaked, toasted and chopped
1 small lime
2 tablespoons whey
fresh cilantro

Roast 3/4 of the tomatoes, 1/2 the onions and all of the garlic and peppers (except the chipotle) on a comal in a 500 degree oven until slightly blackened.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, steep 1 dried chipotle in hot water until soft and pliable.

Split the re-hydrated chipotle open and discard the stem and seeds.  Toast the chipotle with cumin seeds until browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Eat within a day or two, or add 2 tablespoons of whey and allow to stand on the counter for 24 hours before transferring to the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s excellent Fight Back Fridays

32 thoughts on “Roasted, Raw and Fermented: Heirloom Salsa

  1. Perfect timing. My husband is in love with Trader Joe’s chipotle salsa and I wanted to make a fermented version with a bumper crop of tomatoes. Thanks!

  2. This looks amazing. Limes aren’t grown around here anywhere but I may make an exception for this – or do you think I can substitute sherry vinegar? Also, are Texas 1015 onions a sweet onion? Maybe I can sub Walla Wallas or something.

    Finally, and you probably don’t know the answer to this, but once I’ve fermented it do you think I can water bath can it? Or maybe I should just stick to the salsa recipes I already have for canning since I don’t have a pressure canner. I’m sure we’ll have no problems polishing this off along with Wardeh’s spelt tortillas!

    • I’ve never tried using sherry vinegar, but you could certainly test it with a portion of your salsa.

      1015’s are a sweet onion. Walla Walla or Vidalia are similar, but you can use regular Spanish onions as well.

      I would recommend against canning a lacto-fermented product, as the process would kill off all the beneficial bacteria.

      Wardeh’s tortillas sound great- I have them on my list of things to try.

      Thanks, Annette!

  3. The picture is definitely so amazing! Its inside sounds so appealing for me, I love different recipes of salsa and I can eat this one even at breakfast spreading on a piece of bread.YUM!

  4. This sounds really good. I have never experimented with fermentation at home.

    I was wondering though, why do you call this a raw salsa if you roasted half of the ingredients? Raw is defined as food that hasn’t been heated.

  5. Looks very tasty! I could go for that and a big bag of nachos right now.

    For a cheap camera that is some great photography. The jar of salsa perched on the door chain looks like it could drop at any second. Weren’t you concerned about losing that jar of goodness?

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  8. Hi, Ren! Okay, got everything roasted – it is cooling to room temp. At what point did you chop everything into smaller pieces and with what? 🙂 I’m kind of just chopping with a knife and fork in the bowl that will take it to the fridge.

    • You’re doing fine! Its a little easier to chop the roasted vegetables when they’re cold, but room temp is ok. Just don’t let it all sit around at room temp more than an hour or so before chilling & fermenting, or you’ll lose color & shorten the amount of time it will keep.

  9. Thanks – didn’t go over an hour, but I decided to lacto-ferment it so just chopped what I could, added the whey and stuffed it in a jar. I doubled the recipe and ended up with about 5 cups – quart sized jar and a half pint. Can’t wait to eat it! Thanks!

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  12. Hey! I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and am trying to figure out a good way to make it last. I know you recommend against canning due to the lacto-fermentation, but are there any alterations to the recipe that you know of that would make it “can-able”?

    Thanks, and thanks for an awesome recipe!


        • Use the same recipe but eliminate the whey.

          Ladle the just-finished salsa into hot (sterile) jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rim, center the lid and screw the band down to fingertip-tight.

          Place the jars in canner, making sure that they are completely submerged. Bring to a boil and process 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars rest in place 5 minutes.

          Allow jars to cool for 24 hours, carefully check the seals then transfer to storage for up to 1 year.

          Here’s a good source for more information

          Good luck!

  13. i dont know if you will see this or be able to answer but it is winter now and i didnt get to make any salsa this summer. is there any salsa i can make now with stuff that is in season. i can get onions, cilantro, citrus its the tomatoes and peppers that are not avail. locally. do you think i could use canned tomatoes? thank you so much.

    • Well, I might make something like this..

      diced red onions (or sliced green onions) diced fresh pineapple, with a little of its own juice diced red, yellow or orange bell peppers chopped cilantro a little sea salt & cracked pepper a pinch or two of chipotle powder

      What do you think?

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