(The condiment, not the dance!)
Last week we had a lovely group of ladies for a workshop on salsa making. Jess Ross, who taught us blueberry jam back in the summer, shared with us her favourite salsa recipe.
We discussed the classic tomato question: to peel or not to peel. This salsa recipe doesn’t call for peeling the tomatoes. When the tomatoes are chopped up, you really don’t notice them. What is interesting about this recipe is that it calls for scooping out the insides of the tomatoes and adding tomato paste. This helps the salsa reach a nice thick consistency, without requiring it to be boiled for hours on end. The salsa cooking time isn’t noted in the recipe below, as it’s matter of personal preference, how watery your tomatoes are, and size of batch (a small batch cooks much faster than a large batch). Our salsa took about 45-60 minutes to reach desired consistency.
As we were waiting for the jars to seal, we tasted the extra salsa that didn’t end up in the jars. It was so good that one participant called dibs on the jar that didn’t seal so she could go home and eat it right away!
– 30 lbs Tomatoes
– 10 large onions
– 10 average sized green peppers, chopped small
– 10 roasted jalapeño peppers, without stems
– 15 cloves of garlic
– 2 cans of tomato paste (300 ml sized cans)
– 4 cups white vinegar
– 3 tsp. toasted and ground cumin seed
– 4 cups of cilantro, chopped (6 bunches or so)
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 5 tsp. salt
– 4 limes, juiced
– 20 x 500ml mason jars.
Seed tomatoes: scrape out the insides, leaving only the meat part attached to the skins and remove the tops, where the stem attaches. The seeds and the ‘juicy’ parts come out. Save the seeds and the heads for use in another recipe (like soup!)
Bring tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers, hot peppers, garlic, tomato paste and vinegar to a boil. Once the boil is rolling, turn the stove down! Keeping the element at full blast will burn tomato to the bottom of the pot and risk ruining the batch. Boil until consistency is “like salsa”. Stir with constant vigilance.
While the salsa is boiling and you are stirring, put mason jars in the oven at 250 degrees F. The jars must be in the oven for 30 minutes, but you can keep them in there until you are ready to jar. Alternatively, you can sterilize the jars by boiling them in the canning pot for 10 minutes.
When the salsa has cooked down and it is the consistency that looks about right, add in the cilantro, cumin, sugar, salt and lime juice. Using a pitcher and the jar funnel, pour salsa into the jars, making sure not to spill any on the rim. Leave ½ inch of space at top of jar. If you do spill salsa on rim, clean with paper towel and vinegar. Place lids on immediately. Process in water bath for 20 minutes.
PS Tomorrow (Sept 30) is the last day to enter our Preserving the Harvest Contest. Send in a story or photo about a time that you preserved food and you’ll be entered in a draw for a fabulous preserving cookbook. Details here.