Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

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Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

This recipe references items included in the Trellis Jar Fermenter Kit.

Ingredients needed:

  • 7 to 10 fresh Tomatillos
  • One small onion (optional)
  • Garlic, fresh cloves, to taste (optional)
  • Whole dried Chilis, preferably Ancho, Chipotle or Mulato, but chili flakes or any kind will do
  • Unrefined sea salt (non-iodized, and not the kind that pours when it rains)
  • Fresh cilantro if you are genetically disposed to believe its delicious (optional)

A note on types and amounts of Chilis:

If your tastebuds matriculated north of climates fond of spicy flavors, use one whole Ancho or Mulato chili (but none of their seeds) as they are fiercely flavorful and easy on heat.

If you have a pallet more adapted to fire, use more (as in two or three) of these chilis and their seeds, or use Chipotle, New Mexican, or Cayenne, or a combination.

A heaping spoonful of the chili flakes found in Asian supermarkets is a good bet for a those seeking a hot salsa, although in my opinion they lack a specifically Central and South American flavor.

If you are completely uninitiated to the wonderful world of Capsicum Fruits, the best education is a visit to the Hispanic or Latin section of a larger supermarket (or area of town if you reside in the south west) and buy some of each kind (they are inexpensive and last almost forever). Rehydrate individual chilis by soaking in a bit of water over night and have yourself a tasting (keep bread and cream cheese on hand to sooth potentially irritated tongues). When I did this I took notes on each variety and I was astounded by the nuanced and complex flavor notes in the various types. A chili is not a chili is not a chili.

Chop Tomatillos into bite sized chunks. Mince cilantro, onion and garlic if using. Cut or tear whole chilies into strips, then cut into smallish pieces. Mix all of the above in a bowl, and then add about two teaspoons of salt.

Cram into a mason jar and smash it all down with a Pickle Helix Spring, leaving about two inches of space at the top for fermentation activity. {Add a slosh of some juice from an older, wiser ferment (if possible, it's not required for success but will shave off a couple days of wait time) and top with a Trellis Airlock lid.} Place in a room temperature spot for a number of days. When bubbles are actively pushing their way up thru the jar and things smell sour, have a taste. If more spice is desired, feel free to add more peppers. If it's too spicy, put the whole thing in the refrigerator and wait a week or two (or four). Fire can burn itself out in a ferment if given enough time. Store in a cool spot or the refrigerator.

Use this salsa just as you would any other - with chips as a dip, as a taco topping, whiz some into plain yogurt or sour cream for a jazzed up creamy dip or topping.

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  • Jordan Freytag
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