Homemade salsa was my first exposure to canning--about 10 or 12 years ago. My friend Barb introduced me to the joys of this experience, cheerfully donating most of the produce from her own garden. I wish so much I still had her recipe because it was amazing!!! It even had basil in it which was a nice touch. Below is the recipe I used this year; it's a wonderful, fresh-tasting, basic recipe. Remember to always follow instructions and measurements when canning to ensure the food will be safe to eat. Do not change proportions; you may switch out herbs or reduce hot peppers only.
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, 12th edition
- 7 pounds tomatoes (20 medium all-purpose; more if you use romas)
- 3 c. green peppers, any combination of the following (listed in order of heat): bell peppers, Anaheim, poblanos, hot bananas
- 1/3 c. hot chili peppers (jalapenos, serranos, etc.)
- 2 c. coarsely chopped onion
- 1/2 c. snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1 c. vinegar
- 1/2 c. tomato paste
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. sugar
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. pepper
- Chop, chop! Chop all tomatoes, removing stem end and any bad spots. No need to peel and seed for this recipe (of course, if you hate skin, feel free to peel tomatoes). Let tomatoes drain in a colander for 30 minutes or so (or just cook them longer).
- Seed and chop all peppers; if using hot peppers, make sure you wear gloves or wash your hands. I never wear gloves, and my hands are on fire right now as I type....
- Place drained tomatoes in an 8-quart pot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 45 to 50 minutes or till thick and chunky; stir frequently. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat.
- To Can: Ladle salsa into hot, sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water bath for 35 minutes (start timing when water begins to boil).
- To Freeze: Place the pot in a sink filled with ice water; stir mixture to help it cool. Spoon into wide-top freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal, label, and freeze up to 6 months.
Makes 4 pints
Note: I like my salsa a bit sweeter than this recipe, so I stir in a spoonful of sugar to a new jar when I open it. You can also add more heat to individual jars when you open them by adding an extra chipotle pepper or jalapeno pepper or cayenne pepper or.....