We eat a lot of salsa. We like it on just about everything but especially with chips. In fact, when I was pregnant with Thing #1, I craved salsa constantly. Every time I went grocery shopping I would think, “Oooh, that looks great – I better grab a couple jars of salsa!”. Only to get home and realize we were already well-stocked. I’ll never forget seeing my husband’s face when he rummaged through the pantry to find practically a whole shelf dedicated to salsa. I also claim “pregnancy brain” for forgetting exactly how much of a salsa hoard I had every time I entered the store.
Well, this past weekend, I decided to get crazy and do some canning. Really, I had a lot of tomatoes and apples on hand and needed to do something with them! So, salsa and applesauce it was. I think I’ll save the applesauce and apple butter for an upcoming post . . . .
This recipe is adapted from Canning Homemade’s Chunky Tomato Salsa based on what we had on hand and where our tastes differed.
One thing with canning, you always get far less in the final yield than you’d think. That’s what happened to me. All of the ingredients listed below made ~5 quarts of salsa. I recommend doubling them if you’d like more end product.
Best Salsa I’ve Ever Had Recipe makes 5 quarts
9 large, meaty tomatoes
1 lb small tomatoes (like cherry or grape)
1 large green pepper
2 jalapeño peppers
1 large sweet yellow onion
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced (based on your taste)
1/3 c. lime juice
1/3 c. vinegar
1/3 c. tomato paste
~1/4 c. cilantro, shredded
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
- First step, peel the tomatoes (the easiest method seems to be blanching them). I was lazy and didn’t do that this time. The little bits of peel in the salsa aren’t bothersome but do detract slightly from the overall look of the salsa.
- Core, seed and chop the tomatoes into 1″ sized chunks.
- In a large pot, cook the tomatoes over high heat until boiling. Lower temperature medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 1-1/2 hours.
- Sterilize your jars, lids, bands, and utensils and keep them in the hot water until ready to use.
- Seed, core and chop all of the peppers.
- Chop the onion.
- Mince the garlic.
- After the tomatoes have cooked for 90 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients except for the cilantro.
- Simmer for another 15 minutes then stir in the cilantro and remove from heat.
- Fill each (hot) jar with (hot) salsa, leaving 1/2″ of headspace. A canning funnel is a must!
- Clean the jar rims and then seal the jars with the lids and bands. Only tighten the band to finger-tip pressure. You don’t want those lids on overly tight.
- Place your jars in the water-filled canner (on a rack) making sure that they are covered by about 1″ of water.
- Cover canner and heat water to boiling. ONCE THE WATER IS BOILING, SET YOUR TIMER for 15 minutes. Do NOT start timing from the time the jars go into the water bath. The jars need to be in boiling water for at least 15 minutes.
- Once done, turn off heat and let the jars rest for a minute or two.
- Remove the jars from the canner onto a dishcloth-lined counter. (Again, a jar lifter is a must!)
- Leave the jars alone overnight. In the morning, check to make sure the jars are all sealed and you can then tighten the bands some more. If one didn’t seal, just keep it in your fridge and use it sooner than later.