Put that tomato harvest to good use. Check. Get some healthy natural probiotics. Check. Have a snack or condiment available. Check. These Overnight Cultured Tomatoes are a perfect treat as our summer comes to a close and are super easy to make.
I can hardly believe we are almost halfway into August. Are you wrapping up your summer adventures and digging deep into back-to-school shopping, planning and coercing your kids to earlier bedtimes?
This time of year can also mean an abundance of tomatoes that need to be used up before the first frost. Even though we live in California and are blessed with a long growing season, I still love these Overnight Cultured Tomatoes for it’s simplicity and delicious flavor.
What are Cultured Foods?
In addition to bone broth, cultured foods (also known as fermented foods) are another piece of the foundation to healthy eating. They are powerful super foods that contain healthy bacteria and naturally occurring enzymes, thus optimizing digestion and improving gut health. We enjoy Kimchi and Sauerkraut as a condiment on salads or sandwiches and I always add a cup or two of Homemade Yogurt to our smoothies. The possibilities are endless with what kind of foods you can culture.
It is best to culture a food for at least 72 hours to give enough time for sugars to turn to bacteria (the healthy kind). But in addition to a long list of traditionally fermented vegetables, I also love the convenience of having “cultured” overnight tomatoes. These are so simple to make and have the potential to gain full benefits if allowed longer fermentation. However, with the bold pre-made seasoning, they are incredibly flavorful as early as the following day.
This quick ferment is also great when you have a loaded bounty of these pretty nightshades to use up. The key is to leave the tomatoes at room temperature for at least overnight as the salt pulls juice from the tomatoes. The following day, you can transfer the tomatoes into cold storage and it will still continue to do it’s culturing magic. As most cultured foods, there really is no expiration date and can be enjoyed as a side dish or condiment. Just be warned that consuming large amounts of any fermented foods may cause loose stools because of the natural probiotic content.
Cultured Overnight Tomatoes
- 8 medium tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Celtic Sea Salt
- 1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Rinse, dry and hull tomatoes. Cut tomato in half, place on cutting board face down and slice into 1/2″ – 3/4″ slices. Set aside.
In a small dish, combine all dry seasonings and mix well. Place tomato slices in a flat dish such as this. Dust the first layer of tomato slices generously with the seasoning blend. Layer with more tomatoes and more seasoning. Continue with remaining ingredients. Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Allow more time for robust and tangy flavor but be sure to transfer them to cold storage after 72 hours.
Note: It’s important to use plenty of unrefined salt in any fermentation but especially in one where we’re hoping for quick culturing action. Also, because these tomatoes are consumed primarily as a condiment (as most fermented foods are), no worries about over salting these. Get salt happy, especially with Celtic Sea Salt – it is my favorite for fermented foods with a wide range of trace minerals and vitamins.
How are you spending the last days of summer?
Anya is the founder and author behind Prepare & Nourish, a place where she shares her passion for traditional, healthy and delicious foods. She enjoys re-creating her deeply rooted Slavic recipes with nourishing ingredients all the while keeping her home and homeschooling their children. She and her husband love to share good food with good friends around their hand-crafted farmhouse table in Northern California. You can connect with Anya on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.