At this point, we've eaten them every which way we could figure- cooked, raw, and everything in between. And yet there are still plenty left. I just don't think I can conjure up the excitement to get through canning another batch of whatever, so what to do with what's left? Two easy solutions cleaned up my fridge and will preserve the harvest for a few weeks to a few months: Gazpacho and Fermented Salsa.
And oh yeah- this is a great way to use up odds and ends of veggies when you're cleaning out your fridge.
4-5 large tomatoes
lemon or lime juice (just need a few slices for 1 batch in the blender)
1 jalapeno - seeded or not, if desired
1. Chop all ingredients into large pieces.
2. Blend on high in a blender for 1-2 minutes.
3. If too thick, add a little extra water. If too spicy, add more veggies. If not spicy enough, add more hot peppers.
Tip: Throw your squeezed lime or lemon slices into a pitcher of ice water and enjoy! (Remove them after 1 day, or they will turn the water bitter).
Nourishing Days has some wonderful articles on fermented veggies. Shannon has her own version here: http://www.nourishingdays.com/2011/08/how-i-make-lacto-fermented-salsa/
Here is the one from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. She has en entire section in her book about the benefits of fermented veggies with lots of recipes. I quadrupled her recipe to accomodate my gallon-sized jar and critical mass of fresh tomatoes and jalapenos. It looks beautiful and I can't wait to taste it!
makes 1 quart
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 small onions, finely chopped
¾ cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons whey (if not available, use an additional 1 tablespoon salt)
¼ cup filtered water (do NOT use tap water)
Mix all ingredients and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to the refrigerator. (Should last a few months in the fridge.)