Tuesday, August 19, 2014

canning salsa

Every year I buy a box of tomatoes to put up- usually I buy several boxes.  I can sauce, whole or quartered tomatoes, pizza sauce, barbeque sauce, and at least a dozen jars of salsa.  This year I've been working in smaller batches and put up 10 half-pints in an afternoon a few weekends ago.  My family uses a lot of salsa, and I like knowing both what's in my food and who grew it.  My CSA is chemical-free, and I've been really fortunate to get a lot of what I call "scratch-and-dent" tomatoes and peppers to work with this summer. 

Several years ago I got a great simple salsa recipe from my friend Jennifer, who got it from our friend Liz.  I'm happy to share my pared-down version with you.

7 c tomatoes, chopped but not peeled
2 frying peppers (these taste like a  cross between sweet peppers and hot)
2 hot peppers (or more to taste. I usually seed mine)
1 c chopped red onion
2-4 cloves garlic
1/4 c cilantro (omit if you aren't a cilantro fan)
1.5 tsp salt
3 T lime juice (I use concentrate, but you can also use fresh lime juice and add 1/4 tsp citric acid powder per jar)
2 T cider vinegar

I chop up all of the ingredients, either by hand or in the food processor and bring them all to a boil in a dutch oven.  Once the salsa has boiled for a minute, ladle into clean pint or half-pint jars and process for 15 minutes.  If I have just a few jars, I'll process them two at a time in my asparagus steamer.  4 jars will go in a larger dutch oven.  six or more jars requires the canning pot. 

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