In last week’s weekly update, I mentioned that I harvested a lot of tomatoes. I will make paste out of some of them, but there’s only so much paste to make. I decided to make up a batch of salsa.
I’ve been making this salsa recipe for several years. I used several different recipes and then stumbled upon the Annie’s Salsa recipe on Garden Web. This is a fantastic salsa. I take it in to work fairly often and most of my coworkers say that it is the best salsa they have ever eaten. I do vary the recipe slightly, but only because things like tomato sauce and tomato paste don’t come in the proper sized containers. I’ve never made it using my tomato paste, but only because this year is the first time I’ve ever made my tomato paste. Other than the cilantro, tomato sauce and tomato paste, all the vegetable ingredients came from my garden.
- 8 cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
- 3-5 chopped jalapeno peppers
- 8 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp. canning salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar (1/3 cup if pressure canning)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 16 oz. tomato paste
- 16 oz. tomato sauce
Peel, chop and drain the tomatoes. I used mostly Amish paste tomatoes since that is mainly what I grew this year, but in past years I have used slicing tomatoes. Either is fine because after chopping, the tomatoes need to drain.
While the tomatoes are draining, Fill the water bath canner with water and put it on the heat. It takes a long time to bring several gallons of water to a boil.
Chop the onions and green peppers. Don’t chop them too small, we want a chunky salsa. Then move on to the jalapeno peppers. I used 4 jalapeno peppers in this batch. I remove all seeds, but I leave the white membrane in the pepper. Chop the jalapeno peppers very small so that they get distributed throughout the entire batch. I run my garlic through a garlic press, but the original recipe says to mince the garlic. The last of the cutting is the cilantro. Just run the knife through this a couple of times, we don’t want huge chunks, but we also don’t want little pieces.
Combine all the ingredients in a 8-quart stainless steel stock pot. Don’t use aluminum for this, aluminum can react with acidic food. This can leave “off” flavors.
Mix the ingredients well. Bring the pot to a slow boil while stirring it regularly. Continue boiling for about 10 minutes. As mentioned before, this will be a chunky salsa. We don’t want to boil it too long or the ingredients will break down and the salsa will become watery.
Fill sterilized pint jars with the salsa. Leave about 1/2″ of head space in each jar, leaving too little will allow the salsa to leak out the top and the jars may not seal properly. Wipe the rim and put on a boiled lid and tighten the ring. Water bath can the pint jars for 15 minutes for pint jars. If pressure canning, the vinegar can be reduced to 1/3 cup and pint jars are processed at 10 pounds for 30 minutes.
Remove the jars from the canner and allow to cool. Listen for the lids sealing. Hearing that ping as the button on the lid snaps down is pretty satisfying. That ping is the jar properly sealing. I don’t know how long the salsa is shelf stable. I do know that I’ve eaten salsa that was canned 2 years ago. It tasted great. I figure as long as the seal remains, it should be good to eat.
If you are wondering why I used canned tomato paste this time, the paste was cooking on the back of the stove while I made the salsa. You can see it cooking down in the second picture.
This is salsa batch #1. I’m going to try to keep track of any changes of the recipe so I can improve on my technique. This time I used canned tomato sauce and canned tomato paste. I used 8 small cloves of garlic. I’m hoping to use my sauce and paste next batch to compare.