This fermented radish salsa is delicious immediately after it’s put together. But through the process of fermentation, the flavors transform and meld together. The salsa turns into a beautiful springy shade of pink.
Many that are not fond of radishes in the raw form do indeed enjoy them fermented. The sharp flavor dulls somewhat.
I urge you to try this salsa, even if radishes aren’t on the top of your favorites list. Use this salsa as you would any other salsa—over eggs, with corn chips, over tacos, etc.
Yield: 1 Pint
- 1 bundle red radishes, chopped (about 1.5 cups prepared)
- 1/4 cup scallions – white and green sections, thinly sliced (about 2 scallions)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
- 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- Dash black pepper (optional)
Wash and prepare all ingredients, then mix them together with the salt in a large glass or nonreactive bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, pack the mixture into a clean canning jar.
Use a spatula to scrape any remaining liquid or salt from the bowl.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a dampened paper towel or lint-free towel and apply the Mason jar canning lid. Tightly screw on the ring.
It may take until the next day for the ferment to produce enough brine to submerge the radishes, so don’t be alarmed if initially they aren’t submerged. Check the following day and use a spoon to push the produce under the brine.
“Burp” the jar daily. Unscrew the lid briefly and tighten it back down to allow any built-up gas to release. (You’ll also avoid possible jar breakage and overflow due to fermentation.)
Ferment at room temperature, ideally between 60-75 degrees F (15 to 23 degrees C) and keep out of direct sunlight. Though the salsa is delicious immediately after mixing together (give it a taste!), this recipe will ferment five to seven days.
One sign that the ferment is “done” is when the brine becomes pink.
Taste test after day 5 and see if the flavors have melded together. If not, ferment one or two more days and taste test again. Once the ideal flavor is reached, transfer the jar to the refrigerator with the brine.
This ferment will last nearly indefinitely, though the texture and flavors will continue to change. Fermentation does not stop once refrigerated. Rather, chilling slows the process way down. The taste and texture will continue to change over time.
In my household, we enjoy this lacto-fermented salsa on pretty much everything. You’ll be surprised at all the recipes you can fit it into.
But this fermented radish salsa, generously spooned over steak tacos, with some crumbled queso fresco and fresh lime, is our absolute favorite. Yum!
This recipe has been adapted from WECK Home Preserving (2019) with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.