canning and preserving: salsa

We found ourselves with an abundance of tomatoes and peppers at the same time – particularly hot peppers – and decided to see if we could can a batch of salsa, one of our favorite canned tomato items. We used the zesty salsa recipe from Ball this year, with our abundance of hot peppers.

This recipe takes more time to prep than it does to process! You start with skinned, chopped tomatoes.

And then a million peppers. We wear rubber gloves when doing salsa since we don’t know when and how much we’ll be touching the hot peppers and don’t really want to spread capsaicin all over the kitchen and ourselves. I’ve had to throw out too many pairs of contacts over the years from hot peppers in the eye. 

After cups and cups of peppers, chop onions until you cry.

We make salsa in our dutch oven, so since we don’t have enough measuring cups to hold everything during the prep, we start piling it in the dutch oven right away.

This salsa uses garlic and apple cider vinegar as well as the peppers, onions and tomatoes. Thank goodness for a garlic press because my hands were done chopping.

Mark is the master herb chopper of the household, so he handled the cilantro while I got everything mixed up to cook. 

Hot salsa gets ladled into hot jars. We managed to get 7 pints in to process, but had an extra pint we saved out to eat fresh, so the recipe made more than the 6 pints promised. 

I like how you can see Captain America’s foot peeking out above the canning pot from his spot on our fridge. Geek house!

A short processing time later, 7 sealed pints. Nothing broken, thanks to making sure the temperature of the jars and food stayed consistent. We let the canner come to boiling with the jars submerged this time, so no replay of the tomato canning breakage from last week. (Salsa is hot pack anyway, but we weren’t taking any chances.) 

We’ve got some more catching up to do on grape juice/jelly canning this week, and we hope to fit that in before we head off to Seven Springs for the Mother Earth News Fair this coming weekend. Can’t wait to see what kind of ideas and tips we bring home!