garden fresh vegetable salsa

making salsa was a bit more intensive than i thought but it was SO worth all the chopping. the smells coming from my kitchen yesterday were just blissful. the salsa we like the best from the store is about $7 per pint, so that is quite the savings considering we grew all the veggies and i already had jars on hand.

i used my canning bible, the ball complete book of home preserving, page 203 fresh vegetable salsa. here is the recipe which makes about ten 8-ounce jars or five pint jars. (i followed the recipe and made five pint jars and two half-pints.)

7 cups chopped, cored, peeled tomatoes
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (leave the seeds for more kick!)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 can (5.5 oz) tomato paste
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin

peeling the tomatoes can be a bit tricky, if you have never done it before. after you wash and remove the stem from the tomatoes i cut an “x” on one end to help with the peeling. you don’t have to do this, but it helps. you place the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water, small batches at a time, for 30-60 seconds or until the skins start to crack. immediately remove them and dip into ice cold water. the skins will slip off easily. below is my bowl of skinless tomatoes.

in a stainless steel saucepan, combine tomatoes, onions, green pepper, jalapeno peppers, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, cilantro and cumin. bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 30 mins.

meanwhile, prepare canner, jars, and lids.

ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more salsa. wipe rim. center lid on jar. screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. bring to a boil and process jars for 20 minutes. remove canner lid. wait five minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

you would think martha stewart would be in the kitchen with me. nope. the entire canning time she was here. hugging the air vent and our chest freezer.

lunch today is going to be spinach, mushroom, and cheese quesadillas with, you guessed it, homemade salsa.

i would love to hear back if you make it for yourself! and i am more than happy to answer questions.

Naomi (running buddy)
Naomi (running buddy)

I use bottled lemon juice in place of the vinegar when I can salsa. You get the same acidity needed for safe preservation and I find the taste is better than using vinegar. I've canned for almost as long as you've been alive and I haven't killed anyone yet, so consider trying the bottled (must be bottled) lemon juice for your next batch of salsa. :)