Sunday, September 15, 2013

Preserving the Tomato Harvest: Spicy Garlic Salsa

Tomato harvest is in full swing and as a result, I'm a happy camper! I'm processing tomatoes in a couple of different ways. The first is to make a spicy garlic salsa that we will get to enjoy all winter long. It is an easy recipe to follow and the results are fantastic.

This recipe is full of tomato goodness and I was able to incorporate some of our delicious garlic as well as hot peppers that we grew in our garden. I relied on this recipe to make it, although I didn't use cherry tomatoes.

Some of the salsa ingredients from our garden
Note: we made two separate batches which totalled 16 500ml jars when completed
18 cups of chopped tomatoes (it worked out to be about 25 tomatoes, but will depend on the size and variety of tomato you choose)
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh jalapeno chile pepper (it was about 4-5 jalapenos)
2 cups chopped onions (1.5-2 large)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 can tomato paste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin (I used roasted cumin)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup torn fresh cilantro

1) Chop tomatoes into small pieces and let them sit in a colander for about 30 minutes to drain some of the juices off. Discard juices or use in another recipe.

2) Add tomatoes to a non-stick large pot and bring to a boil. Then turn to medium-low heat and simmer; reduce the mixture until it reaches the consistency you'd like- I let mine reduce for about 45 minutes.  Skim off any foam that may rise from the mixture.

3) Prepare other ingredients, then add everything except the cilantro to tomato mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes.  At the end of that period, add the cilantro and stir to make sure it's mixed in well.

Cilantro ready to be torn into small pieces

4) Sterilize jars, soften jar lids, and bring canning pot to a rolling boil.  Fill each jar with the salsa, leave 1/2" of head room, then seal jars.  Add to pot on a canning rack, bring to a rolling boil, and process for 20 minutes. Remove jars, cool and then check to make sure seals were made.  Store in a cool, dry place.

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