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Do you have a bounty of fresh tomatoes from your garden? Turn them into a probiotic-rich side dish — fermented cherry tomatoes with basil and garlic. Delicious, healthy and packed full of Italian flavor, fermented tomatoes are a great way to enjoy the taste of sweet tomatoes for many months to come.

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Harvest season is upon us. We are busy collecting bell peppers, okra, jalapeños and tomatoes. This year has been a particularly rough year for our tomato crop. Weather, disease, pests and even a raccoon have ruined many of our plants.

Thankfully we still have enough to make some of our favorite tomato products, such as these fermented tomatoes with basil and garlic. I specifically grew extra basil this year, knowing I would want to make this recipe. The flavor and texture of these fermented cherry tomatoes is out of this world! Tangy. Sour. Salty. With fresh basil and a kick of garlic.

I like to dish up a bowl of these tomatoes as a side next to our main course. It makes for an easy side dish idea and I love knowing that it is packed full of probiotics, helping to create a healthy digestive system.

This summer if you have a few handfuls of extra cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, make room for this fermented food recipe! You won’t regret it!

Why Make Fermented Tomatoes?

When you have tomatoes in abundance, usually August through October for us here in Ohio, there are too many to eat fresh from the vine all at once. Sure, I am able to can several jars of them, turn them into pizza sauce and homemade salsa but when I want a preservation method that not only keeps the nutrients in-take but also increases it, I turn to fermented tomatoes with basil.

Are fermented tomatoes good for you? You bet they are! By creating a simple salt water brine, pouring it over the cut tomatoes and waiting for a few days, you get a huge dose of gut healthy probiotics. Probiotics are an important part of healing/maintaining a healthy gut as well as supporting the immune system. If you’re looking to improve your belly, consuming lacto fermented tomatoes is the way to go.

What Do Fermented Tomatoes Taste Like?

Fermented tomatoes and garlic have a sour, salty, slightly tangy taste to them. When you bite into the tomato, you can feel an almost fizzy quality to it. The addition of garlic and basil, provide the fermented tomatoes with a delicious Italian flavor.

Can You Ferment Cut Up Tomatoes?

Yes! In this fermented tomatoes recipe, I recommend cutting the tomatoes in half. This helps to speed up the fermentation time from a week or two to just 3 days. Of course, if you’d prefer to leave the tomatoes whole, the recipe will still turn out delicious with plenty of probiotics, however you will need to increase the fermentation time to 14 days.

How to Eat Fermented Tomatoes

Now that you’ve fermented a jar of tomatoes, you may be wondering, “how to use fermented tomatoes?”. I love to serve Italian tomatoes as a side dish with grilled steak or roasted chicken. Fermented tomatoes can be tossed into pasta, mixed into a salad or added to the top of a cracker or used to make tomato bruschetta.

Fermented Tomatoes

Preserve your tomato harvest by making a jar of fermented cherry tomatoes with basil and garlic. It’s a delicious tomato twist full of flavor, fizz and probiotics!

Makes: 1 quart

Ingredients

3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil (about 5-6 leaves)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt
Non chlorinated water

Supplies

Wide mouth quart size mason jar

Fermentation weight (such these)

Fermentation airlock lid (this is my favorite)

How to Ferment Tomatoes

In a measuring cup, dissolve the salt into about a cup and a half of room temperature water. Stir until dissolved.

In a quart size glass jar, layer the tomatoes, basil and garlic. Pack tightly without crushing the tomatoes. Fill the jar with the salt water brine, leaving about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of headspace at the top.

Add a fermentation weight to keep the tomatoes below the brine. Place a fermentation airlock lid onto the top of the jar or cover with a plastic lid. Set the jar away from direct sunlight and allow to ferment for 2-3 days, depending on the temperature of your home.

When finished, remove the airlock lid, cover with a sealed lid and place in the fridge. The fermented tomatoes can keep up to 3 to 4 months if they remain in the refrigerator. To serve, eat as a side dish, a snack or scoop onto salads or Italian dishes.

Note: If at any point you see white spots floating on the top of the water, don’t worry. This is yeast and it is harmless. Simply scoop it out and continue fermenting your cherry tomatoes until they are tart.

Try These Fermented Food Recipes

Fermented Carrots

How to Make Sauerkraut

Easy to Make Fermented Garlic

How to Make Milk Kefir

Yield: 1 quart

Fermented Tomatoes With Basil

on top of a red plaid napkin is a cutting board and yellow bowl of sliced tomatoes, garlic and shredded basil

Do you have a bounty of fresh tomatoes from your garden? Turn them into a probiotic-rich side dish — fermented cherry tomatoes with basil and garlic. Delicious, healthy and packed full of Italian flavor, fermented tomatoes are a great way to enjoy the taste of sweet tomatoes for many months to come.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil (about 5-6 leaves)
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • Non chlorinated water

Instructions

  1. In a measuring cup, dissolve the salt into about a cup and a half of room temperature water. Stir until dissolved.
  2. In a quart size glass jar, layer the tomatoes, basil and garlic. Pack tightly without crushing the tomatoes. Fill the jar with the salt water brine, leaving about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of headspace at the top.
  3. Add a fermentation weight to keep the tomatoes below the brine. Place a fermentation airlock lid onto the top of the jar or cover with a plastic lid. Set the jar away from direct sunlight and allow to ferment for 2-3 days, depending on the temperature of your home.
  4. When finished, remove the airlock lid, cover with a sealed lid and place in the fridge. The fermented tomatoes can keep up to 3 to 4 months if they remain in the refrigerator. To serve, eat as a side dish, a snack or scoop onto salads or Italian dishes.

Notes

If at any point you see white spots floating on the top of the water, don’t worry. This is yeast and it is harmless. Simply scoop it out and continue fermenting your cherry tomatoes until they are tart.

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