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Recipe: Fermented Verde Hot Sauce

Recipe: Fermented Verde Hot Sauce

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Green hot sauces are traditionally milder than red, but you have the ultimate control when you make your own. I use a mix of mild jalapeños (2,500–8,000 on the Scoville heat index) and hotter serranos (10,000–23,000) for my verde, because I’m a lightweight when it comes to heat. If you really want to blow the doors off, Scotch bonnet peppers usually fall between 80,000 and 400,000, and ghost peppers are the hottest, at over 1,000,000. Fermentation neutralizes heat somewhat, but not that much! For a variety of fermented hot sauce recipes, check out Nourish: Plant-Based Recipes to Feed Body Mind and Soul, available on www.terrywalters.net.


  • 1 quart-size glass jar with lid
  • 1 weight (a spice bottle filled with water or similar)
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • Chile peppers
  • 8 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups tomatillos, peeled
  • 1 small sweet onion, ends and skins discarded
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice, plus more if needed

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ferment Time: 7–10 days at room temperature
Makes: 3 1⁄2 cups

  • Wearing rubber gloves, trim the stem and flower ends from peppers and slice in half. Discard seeds and place peppers in the jar. Add cilantro to the jar. Trim and quarter tomatillos, slice the onion into wedges, and slice the garlic cloves. Add all to the jar with peppers.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, make the brine by dissolving salt in water. Pour over the pepper mixture and add weight to keep the vegetables submerged in the brine. Make more brine if needed using the same ratio of salt to water. The jar can be covered with cloth or sealed and “burped” (opened to release pressure and resealed) daily. Place on a plate away from sunlight and heat. Ferment for 7–10 days.
  • Remove weight and lid/cloth and pour the brine into a separate container to reserve. In a well-ventilated space, place fermented vegetables in a food processor or blender and process. Add brine a little at a time to achieve the desired thickness. Add lime juice and process until smooth.
  • Store sealed in the refrigerator and use as desired.

Terry Walters is the best-selling cookbook author of Clean Food, Clean Start, Eat Clean, Live Well, and most recently, Nourish: Plant-Based Recipes to Feed Body Mind and Soul. She is a James Beard Foundation Award finalist, recipient of the Nautilus Gold and Silver Book Awards, and recipient of the World Gourmand “Second Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World” and “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the United States” Awards. Terry is a highly sought-after educator, consultant, and speaker, and has been teaching plant-based cooking and wellness to audiences all over the world for over twenty years. She is a dedicated chef, coach, and advocate, sharing her knowledge and passion for making healthy change in the way we eat and live.

Follow her at terrywalters.net or on Instagram at @TerryWaltersCooks.