"My salsa" is really my friend Annie's salsa. She spent years perfecting the recipe, once she could get everyone in her family to agree it was perfect, she somehow managed to get it tested to see if she could safely can it. I know she had a friend who worked for her local extension service, however I suspect she also bribed them with salsa. This salsa is safe to can as written. There are a few things you can change while still maintaining the proper balance of acidity and texture so it is safe to can. It is important not to alter the recipe in a way to lower the acidity or texture. Salsa is consumed straight from the jar without any further cooking which means it has no safety back up.
Tomatoes are roughly chopped into about 1/2 inch or larger pieces and the other vegetables should be cut into 1/4 inch pieces.
8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper (substitute red or spicy peppers so long as total volume is the same or less)
3 – 5 chopped jalapenos
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp black pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar (or substitute bottled lemon juice)
16 oz. tomato sauce, this refers to cans of plain tomato sauce, not pasta sauce
16 oz tomato paste
Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes. Pour into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space, process pints for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
(note: This recipe can be safely canned in pints, not larger. If you wish to can it in smaller jars use the same processing time)
Approved Salsa Tweaks
Tomatoes: Green tomatoes or tomatillos can be substituted for some or all of the red tomatoes, do not reduce total volume.
Onions: total quantity may be lowered or eliminated to your taste. Do not increase total volume
Peppers: The total volume of green peppers and jalapenos is 1 3/4 cups, you may use any combination of spicy and sweet peppers including red peppers to make up the total volume of 1 3/4 cups. I usually use a mix of spicy peppers for a more complex flavor instead of all jalapenos. Do not increase total volume.
Garlic: Do not increase the total volume of garlic
Cumin, Black Pepper, Canning Salt, Sugar: It is safe to vary the total of any of these dried spices and seasonings either up or down as you prefer
Cilantro: total quantity may be lowered or eliminated to your taste, you can also substitute fresh parsley if you prefer. Do not increase total volume
Apple Cider Vinegar: You may use any vinegar that is 5% acidity or more in place of the apple cider vinegar. You can also use bottled lemon juice in place of the vinegar. Do not reduce total volume, may be increased
Tomato paste and sauce are both optional items, they are only there to improve the texture of the finished product.
Jar Size: You can process this salsa in smaller jars if you want, it would need the same processing time in the water bath canner. It is not tested and approved for larger jars.
The boys after City Markets Harvest Celebration, they both requested a "Harvest themed face painting." Not that I have them brain washed or anything.