Fermented Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic

Discussion in 'Cooking' started by John Laidler, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    On an earlier thread I mentioned an interesting edition of the Food Programme on Radio 4 which covered fermented foods.

    Of course I had to give it a try and as something like fermented cabbage or broccoli didn't leap out at me as perhaps ideal for a first go I found a recipe involving tomatoes, basil and garlic.

    The recipe was American and all cups, so to speak, so this is my translated version:

    325g cherry or baby plum tomatoes
    500ml water
    25g sea salt
    A whole bulb of garlic
    Fresh basil

    First make the brine by dissolving the salt in a little boiling water and when it has dissolved add a few ice cubes to cool the water and then top up with cold water to 500ml.

    Peel the garlic cloves and roughly chop them, I cut each clove into three pieces.

    Put some of the garlic and a few whole basil leaves in the bottom of a one litre storage jar. I had a supermarket basil plant and just used the tip of a stem, which had three or four leaves on it. Then add a layer of tomatoes, but prick each tomato two or three times with a skewer before dropping them into the jar. Then add another layer of garlic and basil and another layer of tomatoes and so on. The picture below show the jar almost full.

    OI000008.jpg

    The jar needs to be topped off with a good layer of tomatoes to prevent any of the garlic or basil floating to the top.

    OI000010.jpg

    Then fill the jar with the brine, you probably won't need all of it.

    OI000011.jpg

    Don't overfill the jar, which is what I did. :) If you do it will over flow at the next stage - as mine did!

    You need to find something which will press the tomatoes down into the brine. I found a glass tumbler which was just the right size.

    OI000012.jpg

    Cover with a tea towel and place somewhere dark.

    It should be ready after three or four days but I will check daily. The tomatoes are supposed to have a very intense flavour.

    I'll tell you how it turns out later. :D

    Happy fermenting!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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  2. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Well at least no one has rated it funny. :)

    So far..
     
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  3. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    Nice knife (y) it is Japanese ?

    Sounds interesting. It cannot fail to taste better than Kimchi.............

    Will give it a whirl sometime.
     
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  4. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    It's just a Tesco knife, a lot bigger than I used to use but I heard James Martin say you won't cut yourself so much if you use a large knife - and so far it's worked. Still got all my fingers. :)

    Haven't tried kimchi but it is very spicy I believe, lots of chilli and ginger etc.
     
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  5. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    Rotting cabbage.....an acquired taste..... not as bad as trying to eat sea urchin insides with chopsticks :sicker:

    A santoku knife is probably my favourite as well - very versatile(y)
     
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  6. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I think making kimchi involves burying it in the ground for a few months. Sounds like the best outcome would be to forget where you buried it.
     
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  7. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    Correct!(y)(y)(y)
     
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  8. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Quick update. Nothing happened for the first 24 hours but then I realised I had put it somewhere too cold so I moved it back into the kitchen and after another 24 hours bubbles started to appear. Its not exactly bubbling away like a brew of beer but then there is no added sugar. I'll give it another couple of days then taste one.

    I also ditched the tea towel and put a plastic bag over it instead.

    Exciting huh? :)
     
  9. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    Absolutely gripping stuff.



    Just hope it doesn't turn into griping stuff....... :groan::imoutahere:
     
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  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Did you sterilise the jar first, or wasn't that necessary?
     
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  11. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    Sounds interesting but I can't even handle sauerkraut :confused:
     
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  12. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I did consider that but just put it through the dishwasher. The process uses the wild yeasts on the ingredients and no doubt floating around our kitchen as we make a lot of bread.

    What I'm not sure about is how long it will keep given it starts off at the stage you would throw most things out!
     
  13. laird of Dunstan

    laird of Dunstan Funster Life Member

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    lol i have one of those knives in my caravan
     
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  14. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I've done a bit more research (well OK I looked on Google) and it should last several months if kept cool. The brine acts as the preservative. It is indeed the same process as sauerkraut which @jockaneezer mentioned.
     
  15. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    yuky stuff!
     
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  16. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    On this morning of gloom from Brussels I thought I would try one of the fermented tomatoes.

    It was delicious! So much so I had to have another to confirm my first impressions. What I didn't expect was the skins have gone soft. They are sweet and taste like tomatoes on steroids. Just need to work out what to eat them with. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
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  17. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    Fingers :)

    ..... oh I see what you mean... If they're that tasty, then I'd think toast should be enough, like the Spanish breakfast staple of tostadas y tomate, con zumo de naranja :clap:
    Sitting outside under the sun of course :sun:
     
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  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Inspired by your recipe and results I have put a batch on to brew today.. cheers
     
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  19. hoot007

    hoot007 Funster

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    Just bought the tomatoes and basil
     
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  20. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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