While my summertime has been wet enough to mean very few tomatoes, I know many of you are just seeing the fruits of your labors in the form of juicy red tomatoes. Salsa time! Salsa is one of our favorite canned goods; we use it not only as a snack, but it’s also a staple ingredient that I use in chili and Mexican dishes. It’s a great way for me to preserve not only the tomatoes, but peppers and onions from the garden, too.
I’ve tried a number of recipes over the years, and this one is a keeper, getting thumbs up from my entire family.
This recipe calls for chopped vegetables. My easy, cheat-y way to do this is with a food processor using the metal blade. I simply core and quarter the washed tomatoes (I do NOT peel them; who’s got time for that?), pulse them until they’re the consistency I like in a salsa, and then measure them directly into the stock pot. I do the same with the peppers and garlic. If you don’t have a food processor, use a knife and aim for a quarter-inch dice on the tomatoes and onions and an even finer dice for the peppers.
Yield: 7-9 pints
- 14 cups chopped tomatoes
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 6 jalapeno peppers, diced and seeds removed (avoid touching the seeds if possible, and for goodness sake, keep your hands out of your eyes!)
- 4 long green chiles, diced and seeds removed (I use banana peppers)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- optional: add 1-2 12-oz cans of tomato paste for a thicker salsa (I’ve tried this recipe with and without. I like the texture with the tomato paste, but I dislike adding conventionally grown paste from a bpa-lined can to my organically grown garden bounty.)
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Following standard canning procedures, ladle hot salsa into jars, leaving about 1/2″ head space. Screw on lids and bands, then process in a boiling water bath. 15 minutes, 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes, 1,001-6,000 feet altitude; 25 minutes, above 6,000 feet.
My recipe is adapted from one that I found years ago on NMSU’s College of Agriculture & Home Economics site, that as far as I can tell is no longer available online.