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fermented cherry tomatoes with basil

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total: 20170 minutes

Servings: 32

Cost: $0.27 /serving


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Step 1

Wash tomatoes and basil.

Step 2

Remove any stems from the tomatoes, and for each tomato, use a toothpick to poke a hole in the tomato where the stem was originally. Drop the tomatoes in the jar.

Step 3

Layer tomatoes, basil, and salt in the jar. Pack the mixture as tightly as possible without rupturing the tomatoes. (See video.) If using 2 quart-sized jars, divide the ingredients evenly between the two jars.

Step 4

Continue to layer the tomatoes, basil, and salt in the jar, leaving an approximately 1-inch headspace at the top of the jar.

Step 5

Fill the jar with chlorine-free water, making sure that the tomatoes are completely submerged.

Step 6

You can place extra basil leaves and stems at the top of the jar on top of the tomatoes to help keep the tomatoes submerged under the brine.

Step 7

Put a screw-top lid on the jar and tighten. Place the jar in a bowl to catch any overflow as the tomatoes ferment. (See video.) Next, place the jar in the bowl in a warm place in your kitchen or pantry out of direct sunlight.

Step 8

Each day, loosen the lid of the jar to allow carbon dioxide to escape. The good bacteria produce this gas during the fermentation process. Once the gas is released, retighten the jar lid.

Step 9

After 2-3 days (or earlier), you will begin to see bubbles developing in the jar. At this point, refrigerate the tomatoes in the jar. The cooler temperature will slow the fermentation process, but it will continue. The lower temperature will also help to prevent the development of mold, which can be a problem with a summertime ferment, like as tomatoes, when temperatures are often warmer than ferments prefer.

Step 10

The fermented tomatoes will be ready to eat in approximately two weeks, and they will stay fresh in your refrigerator for approximately six months. Ferments generally like to be stored at approximately 40°F, so the top shelf of your refrigerator or your refrigerator door are the best storage locations. Alternative storage options include a cellar or root cellar, if those locations can properly maintain a temperature of approximately 40°F.

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