Homemade Canned Salsa
It seems a lot of us are holding on to summer. I hope it's still a bit warm where you're at during the day with cooler breezes at night. While I know I'll be pulling out several of our plants in the coming weeks there are still a lot of herbs and flowers growing, and then there are tomatoes!
When I started canning several years ago, before a bit of a break because small children, I learned that a farm stand or farmers market is the best place to find tomatoes to can. There's a huge stand not farm from us where you can even find canning tomatoes specifically labeled. Roma are best but sometimes you'll find others that don't look pretty but are perfectly fine for canning.
Canning tomatoes for me is nostalgic. Not because we did it growing up but because it's why my grandma's stuffed cabbage and spaghetti were always the absolute best. Lock in the goodness of summer just a bit more and enjoy summer tomatoes in the winter if you can!
Canning salsa had been something I wanted to do this summer and we finally tackled it the other week. I remember making this recipe years ago and finding it very hard and time consuming, and then I remembered that I quadrupled the recipe! Not doing that makes this go much more smoothly!
Since my canning break this was a good recipe for me to break into again. I remembered that the ingredients need to sit overnight, so chop everything the day before you plan to can! I also remembered that the ingredients need to strain the following day! Don't forget that step or your salsa will be more watery. It'll still be edible, but if you're after a thicker salsa be sure to drain!
This recipe was shared from a friend with some modifications by me. Once you get the hang of canning you'll realize you can make a lot of other recipes like this your own too!
Ingredients You'll Need:
2 quarts (about 8 cups) fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks. Roma are best.
6 small onions
3 green bell peppers
3 red bell peppers
6 jalapeno peppers- leave seeds in 3 and remove the seeds from 3. If you want it more mild remove all the seeds.
1 head of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons salt
1 29-ounce can tomato puree
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Peel your tomatoes. I use this water bath technique and find it works out the best. You simply score the bottom of your tomatoes, core them, and place in boiling water for 2 minutes then into an ice bath. Allow to cool and the peel will come right off. While you're doing this get the other ingredients out and begin to chop!
Put chopped tomatoes into a large bowl with the chopped onions, peppers, and garlic. You can chop the onions and peppers and garlic in a food processor if you'd like but I find this gets them too watery so we chopped them by hand. Labor intensive but worth it.
Sprinkle salt over the vegetables, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Highlighting that here so you don't forget!
Remember your jars need to be sterilized too so plan that into your schedule for the day of canning. I run mine through the dishwasher so they're hot and clean before canning. If you have a quick wash function on your washer that works well!
Canning day drain the vegetables in a colander and put into a large pot. Another good tip. Don't forget!
Prepare your canning equipment at this point- the water bath, sterilized jars, lids, and rings.
Add in the tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, still stirring often. Ladle into hot sterilized jars and put on the lids and rings according to manufacturer instructions. Checking out a site like Fresh Preserving is great to make sure you're doing everything safely and correctly!
Process in the water bath- 10 minutes for pint and 20 minutes for quarts. Allow to sit on a dish cloth for 24 hours, unmoved, before tightening the lids more and storing away.
You did it! You made salsa! The real question is, how much better do you enjoy this than store bought? Will you make it again?! I hope so!