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Tomato Salsa

September 8, 2010

Tomato salsa has been a popular addition to our canning repertoire, as it is tasty, easy, and versatile.  We used a recipe from USDA, for a classic approach.  I added my own weights of ingredients (before peeling and chopping) for ease of purchasing in the future.  The salsa uses a variety of in-season vegetables and, because it doesn’t require pressure canning, is a quicker product to make during a day full of tomato canning.   We made 2 batches, 36 pints, at a cost of $3.16 per pint.  Pretty good for an all-organic local salsa!

Any good salsa starts with a lot of chopping.  Careful chopping, with gloves and no eye-touching.

Careful mincing of jalapenos

We used a variety of peppers in our recipe, which ranged in heat levels.  The result was a mild to medium heat, perhaps reduced in heat from the cooking (yes, we opened a jar to try it the very weekend we made it…).  I think next year we will try a spicier mix of peppers, and focus on the dark green and red peppers that looked very nice in the tomato base.

Wax peppers and friends

Peppers, again...they are so pretty!

Once all of the chopping was complete, we added all of the ingredients except for the oregano, cumin and cilantro, and brought to a boil, and simmered for 10 minutes.  Then the remaining ingredients were added and simmering continued for 20 minutes.  Salsa was ladled into hot jars, and we used a chopstick to poke out air bubbles.  A water bath for 15 minutes finished the task.

Simmering salsa...

Ingredients:

7 quarts (17.5 lbs.) Tomatoes, cored, peeled and chopped

4 cups (1 lb, 11 1/3 oz.) Mixed peppers, seeded and chopped

5 cups (2 lbs. 8 oz. or  about 2 large) Onions, chopped

1/2 cup (about 2) Jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

6 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

2 cups Bottled lemon juice (note: don’t use vinegar instead, it will mess with the flavor; lime juice could work though, as long as it is 5% acid)

2 tbsp. Salt

1 tbsp. Black pepper

2 tbsp. Cumin

3 tbsp. Ground oregano

4 tbsp. Cilanto, chopped, optional

Directions

1.) Bring all but the last three ingredients to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes.

2.) Add the remaining 3 ingredients and continue to boil for 20 minutes.

3.) Ladle into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: 18 pints

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