I love this time of year. Fresh tomatoes and peppers are available, many of them from my own garden. Of course, it is time to can Salsa.
There is a problem though. She Who Must Be Obeyed likes a milder slightly sweet salsa and I like a medium hot savory salsa. So, we make two different types of salsa. Of course, mine is better.
My favourite is a recipe from Canadian living. Here is the link to it:
Here is the recipe for She Who Must Be Obeyed’s favourite salsa:
Summer Harvest Salsa
1.25 liter Tomatoes skins removed, cored and coarsely chopped
720 mililiters Peaches or pears peeled, cored and chopped
1.25 liter Sweet peppers red, orange, yellow, green, chopped
480 mililiters Onion finely chopped
60 mililiters Jalapeno peppers finely chopped, use up to 240 ml for very hot
4 cloves Garlic minced
480 mililiters White vinegar
15 mililiters Sea salt
15 mililiters Honey
10 mililiters Sweet paprika
5 mililiters Dried oregano
1 can (156 ml) Tomato paste
60 mililiters Fresh cilantro chopped
Have ready a large stock pot, six 500 ml jars with screw bands and lids. Place clean mason jars with water and heat to a simmer (180 F or 82 C). Do not boil.
Heat snap lids in a pot of very hot water, not boiling water, for few minutes to soften the seal. No need to heat the screw bands; set them aside.
Place the chopped tomatoes in a food colander for few minutes to strain off some of the juice. This shortens the cooking time considerably.
Transfer the tomatoes to a large stock pot. Add the peaches or pears. sweet peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, honey, paprika, oregano and tomato paste. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour stirring occasionally or until the desired thickness is acheived. Add the cilantro and continue to cook for 5 minutes more.
Ladle hot prepared salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles by sliding a not metalinc utensil between food and glass and pressing gently on food to release trapped air. Adjust headspace by adding more salsa if necessary.
Wipe jar rims, and threads with a clean, damp cloth, removing any food residue. Centre a hot sealing lid on the rim of the jar. Screw band down evenly and firmly, without forcing, until resistance is felt, then increasing to fingertip-tight. Return filled jar to the rack in the canner. Repeat for remaining salsa.
When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover the canner with a lid and bring water to a full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. Process for 25 minutes (for altitudes up to 1,000 feet or 305 m)*
When the time is complete, turn heat off, remove the canner lid and wait until all bubbles cease to rise to the surface – about 5 minutes. Remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a towel in a draft-free place. (Do not tighten screw bands or check for seal while jars are hot).
Cool jars upright, undisturbed for 24 hours. Check for seal: Sealed lids curve downwards and do not move when pressed. Reprocess or refrigerate any unsealed jars and use promptly.
For all sealed jars, remove the screw bands. Wipe and dry bands and jars. Store bands separately or replace loosely on jars as desired.
Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
* At elevations higher than 1,000 feet (305 m), increase the processing time. Add 5 minutes at 1,001 to 3,000 ft (306 to 914 m); add 10 minutes at 3,001 to 6000 ft (916 to 1,830 m); add 15 minutes over 6,000 ft (1,831 m).
The Verdict – I like both these salsas (my favourite is better). The missus likes the slight sweet overtones of the Summer Harvest Salsa over the Peppy (she is wrong) and it is pleasant and gives a full flavoured fresh tasting salsa. The Peppy Salsa (which is better) has a nice pepper flavour with a touch of bite.
I will continue to make both (did I mention the Peppy Salsa is better).
The Old Fat Guy