Here is where all our passions come together; fermentation, canning, and fresh seasonal ingredients. This recipe calls upon them all, to delicious, spicy effect.
We made the pepper pastes back in October, dreaming of just such a rainy day as this. The tomatoes came from the bounty of summer vines and were put away in quarts and 24 oz jars in the pantry. The cilantro grows fresh year round, and the citrus is at her vibrant height right now. The salsa can be made without citrus, but the oranges really wake up and enliven the canned tomatoes with a bright acidity and sweetness.
Makes about 3 cups.
Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice for other uses. Dice the tomatoes into small cubes.
Make citrus supremes, by removing the outer rind and pith of the oranges with a knife.
Slice the fruit lengthwise along either side of the segment membranes, discarding the pithy center and the outer membranes. Slice the wedges into small triangles, imagining a cut like that of fresh Pico de Gallo salsa.
Prepare the cilantro, shallots, and garlic.
In a serving bowl, combine the chopped ingredients, and sprinkle with salt.
Spoon the fermented pepper paste over the mixture and squeeze a lime over the top. Toss well and taste; adjust seasoning if necessary.
Allow the ingredients to sit together for a few minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to meld. If desired, carefully pour off the juices that may form at the bottom of the bowl. This liquid is delicious in a shot glass, all on its own, or it can be added to salad dressings or sauces.
Serve the salsa with chips, as one does, or over tacos, or indeed in any way, you would use an “ordinary” salsa.
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