I love fresh, locally-grown tomatoes. I really can’t get my fill of them, especially during the peak of tomato season in the North Country. One way that I can extend the magic of freshly-harvested
tomatoes is to can them. Although I do can the tomatoes, themselves, I also love to have salsa on hand year-round. This recipe for zesty salsa can be made as spicy or non-spicy as you like. For
less-spicy salsa, make sure to use a mild “hot” pepper, and remove the seeds and inner membranes (and be careful after cutting those peppers to wash your hands before touching your eyes!)
For a spicier salsa, select peppers with a higher Scoville rating. Although this salsa is delicious as-is, this recipe is designed to process the jars in a hot water bath, ensuring that the salsa will be shelf-stable. As always, when preserving food, make sure to only use quality produce, precisely follow processing directions, and do not alter the recipe. Thankfully, this recipe is user-friendly, even for canning newbies! Enjoy!
5 cups tomatoes, chopped, cored, and peeled (about 13 medium)
2-1/2 cups green bell peppers, chopped (about 2 large)
2-1/2 cups onions, chopped (about 3 to 4 medium)
1-1/4 cups hot peppers (jalapeño, habanero, etc.), chopped (about 7 medium)
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 pint or 6 half-pint glass jars, with lids and bands.
1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not
boil. Wash lids in warm, soapy water and set bands aside.
2. Combine chopped tomatoes, green peppers, onions, hot peppers, vinegar, garlic, cilantro,
salt and hot pepper sauce, if using, in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently,
until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
3. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust
headspace, if necessary, by adding hot salsa. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band
until fit is fingertip tight.
4. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars
and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. The lid should not flex up and down when
the center is pressed.
*Recipe from Ball Canning
Photo at top provided by MB Mitcham.