As my garden veggies start to mature, I can’t help but get excited about salsa! This recipe is from a neighbor when I was living in Brigham City in my youth. I love to smell this salsa cooking every Fall-except last Fall. I had a baby instead. So I’m really anxious to make some this Fall! So, if you haven’t canned salsa before or are just looking for a new one recipe, I hope you will give this recipe a try.
10-12 lbs of tomatoes- I prefer Roma’s for canning because they are less watery, but I typically use at least two varieties
2 green peppers
3 small cans diced green chilies
3-5 small Jalapeños, or any combination of peppers such as Serraño, Habañero, etc
1/2 C vinegar
1 C lemon juice-I don’t use fresh for this recipe
2-3 TBSP salt
6-8 oz tomato paste
Before beginning, make sure your canning jars are clean and hot. I like to run a quick wash cycle in my dishwasher so they are nice and hot and ready. You don’t want to pour hot salsa into a cold glass jar.
In a really large pot, boil some water. I just use the pot I’m going to cook the salsa in, and wash it after I’m done with this step.
To prepare the tomatoes, you first need to wash them, core them, and then cut a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato. This greatly helps the skins to come off.
Then boil them in batches for just a few minutes( sometimes the boiling water cools as you do several batches with this many tomatoes, so it may take longer for the later batches) until the skin starts to pull away. Then quickly put them in an ice bath-I typically have a couple bowls for this step. This is the most time-consuming step. After they have been in the ice bath for a few minutes, then remove the skins and place them in a VERY large bowl.
Some water from boiling them will seep out of the tomatoes, so drain as much of this water out as you can before making the salsa. Chop the tomatoes in half.
Chop your onions, peppers, and jalapeños(or whatever combination you choose).
In small batches, place tomatoes, onions, peppers, jalapeños in a blender.
Blend to desired consistency. And dump batches into your large pot.
After all your tomatoes, peppers, onions, jalepeños, etc are blended, add diced green chilies, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and tomato paste. Stir well.
Bring this to a boil, and boil for 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes with the lid on, depending on how much liquid you want to cook out.
When it is about 30 minutes before your salsa is ready, prepare your water bath canner. I love my Camp Chef stove for this! I can cook my salsa inside, then have my camp chef set up in the garage for the water bath. It works so great!
You also will need to have some warm water in a medium sauce pan with your rings and lids in. Dry them off before you place them on your jar.
So, I take a warm, dry mason pint jar and fill it to the top where the jar starts to narrow for the ring to fit on. Make sure the top of the mason jar is clean after pouring in the salsa by wiping it with a slightly damp rag. Then place the lid and ring on.
My water water bath canner(this link comes with the canner tools too) processes 7 pints at a time. So as soon as you have 7 place them gently in the water bath canner. Make sure to follow directions for your water bath. Slowly immerse the jars into the boiling water-water should be at least 1 inch about the top of your jars. Place the lid back on. Wait until the water comes back to a boil to start your timer.
I live in the Salt Lake area, so for my altitude, I process my jars for 30 minutes-some recipes call for less time. The most important part of processing long enough is to kill any bacteria that may have been present. The acidity of the vinegar and lemon juice help with this too. If you are unsure, then you can google salsa water bath times for your area.
When they have boiled enough, lift up the rack and rest it on the canner. Then carefully using the proper canning tools, then remove them carefully to a kitchen towel. I use these HIC Home Canning Supplies Kit.
It is important that the jars can cool in a place where they won’t be moved so that you can get a good seal on the jars. You will hear a “pop” when each jar seals. After a couple hours, you can press gently on the top of the lid. If it moves, or pops back up, then it didn’t seal. Just place that jar in the fridge and use within 7 days. I have never had a jar not seal, so I wouldn’t be too worried about that. I usually leave my jars on the counter for 24 hours before taking them down to my food storage.
I hope that this Fall, you will get to enjoy your harvest. If you didn’t grow your own veggies, head to the Farmer’s market, and you can still make this yummy salsa! I promise the smell as it cooks and the yummy taste with your tortilla chips makes all the work worth it!
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