I went to the Marché Organique des Batignolles this Saturday, craving some fresh cilantro and roquette and hoping to find something to help me get my fermentation fix for the week.
Unfortunately, dill and little cucumbers are absent from the markets these days, and all the leaves have fallen off our grapevine- so pickles are out of the question. I was happily surprised, however, by the beautiful green tomatoes that we found once we entered the market.
The tomatoes offered a perfect opportunity to attempt making Fallsa, or autumnal salsa. I had a lot of fun making batches of salsa this summer, using ripe red tomatoes, but I thought those days ended with the warm weather, but nay! The market even had some end-of-the-season cherry tomatoes of bright yellows and oranges, which I eagerly scooped up by the handfull- eager to include them in my Fallsa.
So here it is, super easy to make and a delicious spicy dish to eat while you watch the leaves fall.
4-6 Green Tomatoes (try to grab a mixture of under/overipe tomaotes to add texture and juice)
Handful of any other color of seasonal tomatoes you can gather
Half bunch of fresh Cilantro
2-3 cloves of Garlic
1-2 Tablepoons of Salt
Note: I usually just throw everything in a blender, but these tomatoes were too pretty to be sliced and diced beyond recognition, so I decided to hand chop everything. If you don't have the time or interest in doing that, you should totally use a blender. Just chop big chunks of everthing and let the blender break it down.
For non-blender preparation:
Step 1: Thinly slice onions, garlic, and some of your chile (you can add as you go, to make sure you don't start off too spicy) and throw them in a bowl. Sprinkle the juice of half a lemon on top and throw a few pinches of salt in the mix.
Step 2: Slice your tomatoes, you want to be sure to use a mix of unripe ones so you have the crunch of their flesh, with really ripe ones so that the fallsa gets juicy. *If you don't get enough juice out of your tomatoes, you can add some tomato concentrate* Throw the tomatoes in the bowl and mix together.
Step 3: Chop up your cilantro, I let it be course and leafy and huge. Cilantro is so great right now, I think it should be allowed to co-star in this Fallsa, along with your tomatoes. Mix chopped cilantro up with the other sliced ingredients.
Step 4: Use the rest of your lemon juice, salt, chile if necessary, and your hot sauce for extra spice. Adjust everything to taste.
You can finish your fallsa there- it's great to eat right away and will save longer than it takes to finish it, as far as my household is concerned.
Optional Step 5: Since I'll ferment just about anything that is sitting in a salty liquid, I decided I'd boost the probiotics, flavor, and digestablilty of this spicy side by letting it ferment for a few days.
Just put a weight (like a cup or bottle filled with water) in your glass jar, so that the veggies are submerged in the brine. Cover your jar with a cloth to keep out dust. The natural fermentation really brings out the cilalantro taste, as far as I can tell. This fallsa was good before the fermentation, but it was the best one I've ever made after a 24 hour fermentation and then a night in the fridge. I strongly suggest opting for step 5 of this recipe.