Canning 101: Zesty Salsa

We go through a lot of salsa in our household, so canning homemade salsa this year was a given. There is nothing better than noshing on fresh salsa made from veggies grown in your garden…in the middle of January. Homemade salsa not only tastes better than store-bought, but you are able to control the amount of salt that you put in, and you know your salsa doesn’t have any preservatives or artificial flavors in it. Grab your trusty chef’s knife and get choppin’ so you can have fresh, homemade salsa all year long!

Zesty Salsa
Yields: 8-10 pints

10 cups chopped, cored peeled tomatoes
5 cups chopped, seeded bell peppers (any color)
5 cups chopped onions
2 1/2 cups chopped, seeded jalapeno peppers
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tbsp salt

Prepare your canner, jars and lids.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the tomatoes, green peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and boil gently, stirring frequently until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Ladle the salsa into hot jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rim, center the lid on the jar and screw the band on the jar.

Place the jars in the canner, bring to a boil, and process for 15 minutes. Remove the canner lid, let it sit for 5 minutes, and remove the jars. Let them cool overnight, then store in a cool, dark place.

Source: Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

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