|The Pocket Farmer||
I've been sampling salsa, oh I'd say about 35 years now, but I've only been making my own salsa for a couple of years. Yes, I'm still a newbie, but I'm gaining experience points quickly.
The Salsa Learning Curve
When I first started testing salsa recipes, I was very enthusiastic! I made big batches that failed miserably to please our testers (Farmer Tom and myself) and ended up throwing out a whole lot of salsa.
After wisening up, I realized SMALL was the way to go when committing a bunch of precious garden resources to an experiment.
Last year I expanded my search to include canned salsa recipes. I settled on a pretty simple recipe that enabled me to use most of my own garden fresh ingredients and let me tell you, it is FANTASTIC! It is a medium hot, smooth salsa that has a rich tomato taste that just pops!
Don't be afraid to go BIG on this one! Just in time for football season, you'll want to have plenty to break out during your half-time foodfest extravaganza!
Tomato and Pepper Salsa
3 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
3 cups seeded, chopped green bell peppers
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Wash and rinse canning jars, keep hot in water bath until ready to use.
Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for
10-20 seconds until skins split. Dip in cold water, slip off skins and remove cores. Coarsely chop. Wash and dry peppers, remove seeds and chop. Be careful when handling jalapeno peppers, you might want to use gloves, wash up thoroughly afterwards. Peel, wash and dice onions and garlic.
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Ladle 1/2 the batch into a large mixing bowl and use immersion blender to puree. Recombine blended mixture to stove saucepan and bring back up to heat. (Do not attempt to mix in blender!)
Ladle into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/2" headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean towel, apply canning lids and process in a boiling water bath for 15-20 minutes. Each recipe makes approximately 3 pints.
Pocket Farmer Notes: I used several varieties of tomatoes and peppers from my garden to "richen" up the flavor. One of my pepper varieties, Cajun Bell, I planted specifically to use in salsa. Feel free to mix and match your favorite varieties up to the quantity recommended. As long as you have the mess going on, you might be wise to at least double this batch. It won't take much extra time, and you'll thank youself later. Serve up with your favorite chips and enjoy!