The redeeming tip for fermented tomatoes

A lot has happened since I told you last week about my attempts at fermenting tomatoes. To start with, in the metropolitan restaurant Choux, I was served a dish with exactly what had already failed twice at home: a raw tomato coulis transformed by lactic acid bacteria. It tasted so delicious that on the spot I vowed never to ever give up on my own tomato project, even though I had to try it every week for the rest of my life.

Then, about an hour and a half after this revelation at Choux, I broke my ankle, an event that would not be very important for this story, were it not for the fact that it quickly became quite difficult, if not impossible. turned out to peel two kilos of tomatoes standing on one leg.

The third event was that I came into contact via Twitter with Olia Hercules, the British-Ukrainian author of the cookbook Mamoesjka, in which I had first read about fermented tomatoes. Perhaps in the city it is better not to let the tomatoes ferment in an open dish, but in a closed jar, she wrote to me. And after I let another two kilos of tomato pulp get moldy in a jar: Maybe it’s because the jar is too big; I would take a smaller pot and fill it to the brim. (“Sorry that it’s proving to be such a pain in the behind,” she also wrote. Nice woman!)

Then came the redeeming tip: Maybe you should try this recipe. After which she showed me a brilliantly simple method, much simpler than the recipe in Mamoesjka. Then there was only the problem of that ankle. But there, like a savior, my courtship flew in from Spain to take over my stagnant household, and, though he looked a little frowning at it, to prepare no less than two portions of tomatoes for fermentation, one by the Mamushka method. (but in a jar filled to the brim) and one according to the new method.

Long story short: we’d better forget about that recipe from Mamushka. Even if the tomato pulp doesn’t mold – which it certainly didn’t last time – the result is far too salty. But that second version, snot, it’s delicious. Olia Hercules mashes the tomato pieces after fermentation, but it doesn’t have to. The clear liquid tastes fantastic; fresh and tingly, like a kind of savory champagne. Seriously, I’d drink it right out of a coupe. And the tomato pieces work fine, finely chopped, great as a salsa with, say, a piece of grilled white fish, or on a bruschetta or, well, I haven’t had the opportunity to experiment much with it yet, but what if you take over from me?

Fermented tomatoes

For 2 – 3 jars:

1 kilogram of ripe (but not overripe) tomatoes;

25 g (coarse) sea salt

cuts Roughly chop the tomatoes – so they don’t have to be skinned – and mix in the salt.

Prop everything in (spotless) pots; fill to the brim. Close the lids and let the tomatoes ferment at room temperature for 4-5 days.

Play from day 3, take the lid off every day so that some of the carbon dioxide generated can escape.

Trial whether you are satisfied with the fermentation. If so, keep the jars further in the fridge.