By Stanley Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Cilantro is a very old herb, which has been used in cooking and healing for thousands of years. Cilantro grew extensively in ancient Europe, where it was valued. In fact, cilantro was considered so important in some areas, including ancient Britain, that only healers and priests were allowed to use it!
Perhaps that is the reason that cilantro is rarely used in European cooking, though it is native to the area.
In more modern times, cilantro has been found to contain a high level of antioxidants, and to have antibacterial qualities. Researchers have found that cilantro will remove mercury, aluminum, and other metals from the brain, spinal cord, and other organs, and move it to peripheral tissues where it is easily removed and excreted by the natural functions of the body.Cilantro is widely used in cooking, especially in Latin America and Asia. The combination of Cilantro and tomatoes is one of the most traditional and popular condiments in Latin America. I am convinced that food combinations become traditional because they are beneficial for both taste and health.
This version of cilantro salsa is fermented. Fermentation increases the nutrient value, besides adding beneficial probiotics, and makes the fermented substances easier to digest and absorb. This recipe was inspired and based on a fermented salsa recipe contained in Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon Morell’s magnificent cookbook. It is also based on the ingredients contained in the traditional Latin American condiments.
I recommend that you chop the ingredients for cilantro salsa by hand. Not only is this traditional, but it really seems to taste better. Some food processors chop at such a high speed that they actually change the taste of the vegetables. Since cilantro really binds to metal, it is best to use a glass bowl when making this recipe, and it should be stored in a glass jar. Mason jars are ideal for storing this condiment.
The hot peppers are traditional, but optional. If you do include the hot peppers, be sure to be careful, using gloves when you handle them and never touching your eyes until your hands have been carefully washed. Either way, this condiment is the tastiest way to remove toxic metals that I have ever come across.
Fermented Cilantro Salsa
3 medium ripe tomatoes, preferably organic or the equivalent
2 green onions, preferably organic or the equivalent
1 large or 2 small bunches of cilantro, preferably organic or the equivalent
4 cloves garlic, preferably organic or the equivalent
4 serrano peppers, or 4 jalapeÃ±o peppers, preferably organic or the equivalent, (optional)
4 tablespoons liquid whey (clear liquid from the top of a yogurt container)
2 teaspoons coarse unrefined sea salt (sources)
1. Wash all the vegetables thoroughly, and dry them. Chop the tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and garlic very fine. Place the chopped vegetables in a large glass bowl.
2. If you are using the hot peppers, protect your hands by using disposable gloves. Remove the seeds, unless you really like it hot. Slice the peppers into small circular pieces, and add to the rest of the vegetables. Be sure never to touch your eyes until you wash your hands thoroughly.
3. Add the whey and the salt to the vegetables, and mix well.
4. Pour the mixture into a quart-sized Mason jar. There should be at least one inch of space between the top of the jar and the mixture. It is important that the mixture does not touch the lid.
5. Cover the jar, move to a dark place (I use the inside of a cupboard), and let rest for two days while the fermentation takes place, then refrigerate.
This condiment should last a few weeks in the refrigerator, though, to be honest, we always finish it
within a few days.
An alternative would be to add 1 to 4 teaspoons of bottled hot sauce, preferably thick and organic, after
the fermentation is complete. Stir well. This avoids the problem of handling fresh hot peppers.
This cilantro salsa goes great with all meats, which is the way such condiments are traditionally used in Latin
America. But you can eat it with almost any main course.
Stanley Fishman is the author of Tender Grassfed Meat, available through Amazon.com. His book describes in detail how to cook grassfed beef, grassfed bison, and grassfed lamb. The book follows the nutritional principles of Dr. Weston A. Price, and uses only the best natural ingredients.