We are fully into summer and enjoying all the summer crops! This is a perfect time to explore ferments outside of your normal sauerkraut recipe. Fermenting summer veggies is a great way to save some of that summer feeling for later in the year when you are cursing the snow outside.
We recently had a table at the Gallmeyer Farms Sweet Corn and Watermelon festival (Nothing says "summer" like sweet corn and watermelon!), and I wanted to make a ferment just with Gallmeyer's vegetables. I hit the farm stand and picked up some corn, red onion, and roma tomato for this simple corn salsa recipe. I tried to take pictures along the way for a tutorial for you. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
This recipe made 2 (overfull) quarts of salsa and used 10 ears of corn. You could easily use 3 or 4 ears for a one quart batch.
As always, try to use the best quality you can find, but work with what you have where you are. Local, non-GMO, low or no spray is best. I am having a hard time finding a non-GMO grower anymore, so I work with what I can.
After you shuck your corn, the first thing you want to do is shave the raw kernels from the cob. (My mom used to do this for us when we were small sometimes and it was my favorite thing ever when they stayed clumped together. So this always feels like a loving activity to me.) You really don't have to get this perfect. You don't want to cut too close to the cob or you get the hard little kernel ends, so don't worry about perfect cuts. Just shave the kernels off with a knife.
Put the kernels in a large bowl and chop up the rest of your vegetables. You can then add them to the bowl with the corn. I used red and white onion and a Roma tomato, but next time would add another tomato. You can add some colorful peppers if you'd prefer, as well.
Next, you need to add salt. As you may have noticed, we don't do exact measurements around here, but it should be enough to taste salty. For this big of a batch, I would say up to 2 tablespoons, but I don't think I got that much in there. The purpose of the salt is to create an environment that is inhospitable to harmful bacteria while the beneficial bacteria grow and ferment. Too much salt and your finished product won't be very edible. Too little and you may get "rotten" instead of "fermented", but it is far from a precise science.
Now you need to massage the mixture, like when you make sauerkraut, until the corn starts releasing its moisture. Just keep pounding, squeezing, and massaging until it softens some and has some brine in the bowl. This is a great time to get the kids involved!
Once you feel done with this step, pack the salsa into sanitized mason jars. Use a clean glass, small fist, or pounder to pack it in there until all the vegetables are submerged in brine. If you don't have enough brine from the corn, it is fine to top it off with a little water.
Finally, you can add your MasonTops Pickle Pebble, or preferred fermentation weight, and your MasonTops Pickle Pipe or other airlock system and set it aside to ferment. This was an extremely active ferment and bubbled out of my Pickle Pipe, which I have never had happen before. I filled my jars too full so it may not be a problem for you, but you can set a plate or towel under your jar to catch mess just in case. Once the activity dies down you can start to taste your ferment. When it tastes good, put the lid on it and store it in the refrigerator. This will be a hit at any BBQ or potluck you attend this summer!
*If you would like to try out MasonTops products, or have yet to get your own ferments started, check out our specially designed Fermentation Starter Kits in our online store!
Makes 2 quarts -
10 ears of corn
1 red onion
1-2 Roma tomatoes
Bell pepper (optional)
Cilantro to taste (optional)
1-2 Tbsp Sea Salt
1. Shave raw kernels off cobs and add to large bowl.
2. Finely chop other ingredients and add to corn.
3. Sprinkle with salt and massage or pound until brine is released.
4. Pack into clean mason jars. Make sure all veggies are under brine. Add water to top off if necessary.
5. Top with fermentation weight and cover with cloth or airlock.
6. Let sit on counter for 5 days or longer, to taste.
7. Store in refrigerator.