Salsa- can you achieve perfection at home?
I am just going to put it out there, salsa is in my top three favorite foods. It’s true, I crave it in a way I crave no other thing. It is sweet but also can be deliciously salty with corn chips. It is my go-to snack when nothing else in this world makes sense, salsa will always be right. I have always bought store bought because I never imagined I could make anything as good as my beloved Tostitos Medium Salsa. Why mess with perfection? Well, I can attest that I was wrong! As it turns out, growing my own overabundance of tomatoes and peppers sent me on a journey of cooking and canning I never saw coming!
TOmatoes – so many, so fast!
We had a best-ever year with our Bentley Seed Ace 55 Tomatoes and our Bentley Seed Roma Tomatoes. Like many home gardeners, we harvested significantly more than we could eat before spoiling. I am not the kind of person that is okay with wasting food, especially food I cared for, watered, and watched grow!
We decided to take the California Wonder peppers and Cayenne Peppers we had grown (as well as some collected from our neighbors garden, I will endeavor to get my proportions better next year), grab onions from our local Cambridge Farmers Market (also hoping to grow my own onions next year).
Once we had our garden ingredients and our canning supplies ready, we went to work! It was a whole family project, chopping, stirring, cleaning, and canning. We ended up with about an average persons 6 months worth of salsa! For our family however, I’ll give it 2 months.
- 9 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (peel first, see below)
- 2 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
- 2 1/2 cups chopped white onion
- 4 medium jalapeños, chopped (substitute 2 of the jalapeños for 2 cayenne peppers for extra hot salsa)
- 8 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 teaspoons canning salt
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
- Remove tomato skins. Make an “X” in the bottom of the tomatoes, then place in boiling water for 60 seconds. Then, remove the tomatoes from the water and place directly into an ice bath. The skins should slip right off.
- Make the salsa. Place all of the ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until thickened and cooked.
- Prepare cans to be sealed. Transfer the cooked salsa into clean, sterile jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a funnel for this. Wipe rims of jars and, then place lids on top.
- Process with a water bath. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Your saucepan needs to be tall enough to have the water cover the jars by 2 inches.