Making Summer Last: Fermented Tomato Salsa


The sheer magnitude of my heirloom tomato harvest this year is staggering. It’s as if the Gods converged on my garden to bring just the right conditions for the fruit to flourish in every way. I’m not complaining, mind you, but I am overwhelmed.

On the one hand, I have baskets of gorgeous, ripe Cuor Di Bue tomatoes–an Italian heirloom known for its large size, and achingly sweet flavor.

On the other hand, I have baskets of gorgeous, ripe tomatoes that need to be processed–NOW!


There’s nothing better than capturing the peak season harvest to enjoy as the days turn cool and fresh tomatoes become a distant memory.

One of my favorite ways to preserve the bounty is making homemade Fermented Salsa


Why fermented?

The fermenting process enhances the taste of all the ingredients in this classic Mexican-style condiment, and adds gut-healthy probiotics in the process. Fermenting is easy, and much more cost-effective than the expensive, commercially produced products you’ll find at the grocery store.

If you’ve shied away from fermenting at home, I’ll let you in on my secret weapon: a stylish gizmo called a Kraut Source. It was developed by Bay Area-based chef, nutritionist, and culinary instructor Karen Diggs.


Chef Karen Diggs

Kraut Source has changed my whole perspective on the DIY fermentation trend. It is where design meets functionality at its best. This stainless steel device fits on a wide-mouth mason jar, and has a spring-loaded release mechanism that keeps the ingredients submerged in their briny cocktail (in case you didn’t know, air is the enemy of the fermentation process.)IMG_3724


Old-fashioned means of fermentation used to require bulky stoneware crocks, awkward presses, and regular “burping.” No wonder all but a stalwart few threw in the towel!

So . . . if you’re wondering what to do with all those garden tomatoes, make a batch of this good-for-you spicy salsa and discover how simple and tasty home fermenting can be.



SPICY FERMENTED SALSA with probiotics (can be easily doubled)

Recipe courtesy of Kraut Source


  • 1.5 lbs. firm organic tomatoes, diced
  • 4 oz. purple onion, diced
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers (depending on your heat preference); seeded and diced
  • handful of fresh cilantro, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt or other sea salt


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss together until well mixed. IMG_3702
  2.  Spoon the salsa into a one-quart Mason jar and place the Kraut Source on top. IMG_3714
  3. Secure the device according to the directions. IMG_3715
  4. Place the jars in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight, on your kitchen counter for 3-4 days.*Note: the tomatoes should release enough liquid naturally to cover the top of your salsa by at least an inch overnight. If not, add a little brine (Brine ratio= 1 tsp salt: 1 cup water). IMG_3736
  5. When ready, remove the Kraut Source and replace with a standard Mason jar lid and ring. Store in the fridge. Enjoy as you like!


If you liked this recipe you may also enjoy these related posts:

*Homemade pickles

*DIY Kombucha

*Tuscan Tomato Sauce

*Savory Bacon-Tomato Jam

*Chilled Tomato-Melon Soup

Categories: Condiments, Fermented Foods, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Seasonal Recipes, Vegetarian/Vegan RecipesTags: , , , , , ,


  1. This recipe looks great! Thanks for sharing (I love my kraut source!) just wondering if you know how long it will keep in the fridge or if there’s a way to process it post fermentation to keep in the pantry as opposed to the fridge….thanks 🙂

    • Hi Tasha,
      Thanks for reading! My Kraut Source salsa lasts in the fridge for a good long time (weeks!). I haven’t tried processing it after fermentation for pantry storage, because I suspect the heat required would kill all those good-for-your-gut probiotics created in the fermenting process. Once you’ve made salsa this way you’ll want to put it on everything–so you’ll use it up quickly. 🙂

  2. I didn’t know about this process for tomatoes. Very interesting and thank you for sharing it.

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