Salsa: Canning Workshop Recap

Salsa was our most popular workshop by far – filling within 24 hours of the registration announcements. (Though a couple cancellations opened up some last minute spots.)

This salsa recipe appeared on our blog last year, but it’s so good, it bears repeating.  After last year’s workshop, I made a half batch (10 – 500 mL jars) all for myself.  Let me tell you, in February, when I ran out of salsa, I regretted not having made a full batch.  It’s THAT good.

So, call up your farmer, and order yourself some tomatoes.  Most farmers will sell you bulk produce.  For salsa, make sure you get paste tomatoes, as they’ll help to ensure a nice thick salsa.  (We got our tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro from the lovely folks at Red Fox Farm who also run our sister project, Heliotrust.)

To brush up on the basics of canning, see Canning 101 and Canning 201.

If you’d like to see the salsa in person, join us for Meet your Farmers at the Mall at Mic Mac Mall in the Bay Court on Sept 7 & 8 for a live demonstration (and samples!).  We’ll be doing demonstration of both salsa and brined (lacto-fermented) pickles between 3-5pm on Friday and 4-6pm on Saturday.  This event is being put on by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, NS Federation of Agriculture, the NS Department of Agriculture and other industry partners.

Salsa Recipe

30 lbs Tomatoes
10 large onions
10 average sized green peppers, chopped small
10 jalapeño peppers, chopped small, 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, 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.

Yours in food,


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