Right about now my boyfriend and I are up to our ears in tomatoes, thanks to a very fruitful community garden plot. We recently decided to take our bounty, plus some peppers and onions we managed to grow, and whip up a big batch of homemade salsa for canning. It’s super simple, super tasty and definitely worth the effort—here’s how we did it! Ingredients:
• Pile o’ tomatoes, big ones for blanching and cherries for later
• Chiles- jalapenos, habanero, long reds, whatever you like and as much or as little as you like
• Lime juice
• Plain old white vinegar—***many canning recipes call for the addition of vinegar- this is to help boost the canned substance’s acidity, so it doesn’t go off on you too early. With things like salsa, especially, you can really achieve the level of acidity you need between the tomatoes and lime juice. For the big batch we made, we used maybe ¼ to ½ cup of lime juice and maybe 2-3 Tablespoons of vinegar. Use your best judgement.
• Blanch your tomatoes- core ‘em, score ‘em,
and throw ‘em in boiling water for 30 seconds to a couple minutes depending on what size they are.
When the skin starts coming away, pull them out and toss ‘em in an ice water bath.
When they’re cool, the skin should slide right off. This is messy, there is no way around it.
• Chop, blend, food process or otherwise incorporate your other salsific ingredients.
We threw the onions, garlic, peppers, herbs, seasoning, lime juice, vinegar and just a bit of olive oil in a blender and buzzed it until it was still a little chunky, but well combined.
• Gradually add the blanched, peeled tomatoes to the onion mix and buzz up a bit to combine. Don’t blend it too much, or you’re going to come out with nothing but a reddish puree.
• For texture, we left the cherry tomatoes raw and just sliced them in half and added them to the rest of the salsa after all the peeled tomatoes and onion mix was thoroughly integrated.
• Stir to combine the fresh cherry tomatoes with the rest of the tomato mixture.
If You Plan to Can:
• Put your salsa in a big pot, set it on the stove and heat until simmering. Then follow these steps to preserve your homemade salsa!
If You Want it Fresh:
• Simply store in a bowl covered with saran wrap or another air-tight container. Should keep for about a week.