Fermented Tomato Relish – Dani Valent

An easy fermented relish or salsa that takes just a few days to develop its funk

Kimchi gets me through winter but I’m keen to experiment with other fermented products through summer. One of those is this fermented tomato relish – it’s super easy and adaptable. It’s as easy as squishing things into a jar and letting nature do its work. Have it because it’s gut healthy or just because it’s tasty. This relish is great on sandwiches, with cheese platters and crackers, or use it more as a salsa, with tacos or piled over barbecued chops, sausages and steak.

In this video, I cook the dish for Justine Schofield on her show Everyday Gourmet. It was so much fun to cook with Justine.

Makes: about 350 grams (12 oz)
Time: 15 minutes, with 3-4 days fermenting time


200 grams (7 oz) firm tomatoes, chopped in 1cm (1/2 in) pieces
2 tsp sea salt
6 peppercorns
60 grams (2 oz) celery leaves and stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, bashed
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 fresh bay leaf, plus extra to seal jar
1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
60 grams (2 oz) water


1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and press firmly with a pestle or spoon until ingredients are well mixed. Transfer into a jar and press down to ensure liquid covers the ingredients. Put a weight or lid on top (or tuck in with extra bay leaves) to ensure ingredients stay submerged. Loosely seal jar.

2. Leave in a warm place for a few days until the tomatoes start fermenting – you’ll see bubbles forming and the tomatoes will taste sour. Loosen the lid daily to ‘burp’ the jar. Place in fridge when tomatoes have attained a sourness that pleases you.

3. Relish will keep for four weeks in the fridge; the flavour will continue to develop.


  • Change up the vegetables and aromatics as desired.
  • Sterilise jar and lid by washing in hot, soapy water, rinsing in hot water, then drying in an oven at 110°C  (230°F).
  • You can blitz these ingredients to make more of a blended relish.

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