You know that delicious, thin, flavorful salsa that they serve in good Mexican restaurants? I love that. I can’t eat in Mexican restaurants because they have corn and soy in everything, and it just can’t be avoided. Sadly. But there’s nothing wrong with the salsa…I just don’t ever get any. Then I thought, why not make my own?
Two years ago I was searching for a perfect salsa recipe for canning, but I had the wrong thing in mind. Instead of thinking of this delicious Mexican salsa that I love, I was thinking of typical jarred salsa. I looked up some recipes on the internet, ones that people said were popular. I tried them out. I was very unimpressed. I should know by now that most of the time…other peoples’ recipes don’t quite work out for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, I just apparently have unique tastes.
This year I wanted to can salsa again, and I’d just had a little bit of that Mexican salsa (served with a quesadilla at a local organic restaurant, if you’re curious) and it reminded me that that was what I wanted to go for. So, I set into my kitchen with 54 lbs. of tomatoes and decided to use some of them to make a small batch of salsa. If it was just “okay” I’d have a few pints to eat up through the year and that would be it. If it was great, I’d make more batches. It’s pretty safe to say I’ll be making more.
- 4 quarts tomato puree (about 8 – 10 lbs. of tomatoes)
- 6 – 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 – 3 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. sea salt (I used my Real Salt)
- 1/4 c. minced onion
- 1 – 3 tbsp. minced jalapeno
- Juice of 1 lime
Start with fresh tomatoes. A friend picked some up for me at a local farmer’s market. I rinsed them off (they’re organic) and then quartered them, like this.
Stick them in a blender. Keep going until the blender is full.
Now, blend on low. You want it to mostly puree…but with some small chunks left in it. This is the easiest way I know to get it to the proper texture. Pour the puree into a 4-quart soup pot.
Turn this on medium-high and let it come to a boil. It will get all foamy and bubbly, like this.
This is a normal phase the tomatoes go through while cooking down. Let it keep boiling, until it becomes clear and like thick tomato juice.
Add your garlic. I minced mine up very, very small.
Then, add your onion. I am using only a tiny bit because I mostly want the garlic flavor to come through.
Add your sea salt. You may add a bit more to taste in the final stages, but this amount seems to work well.
Add the cilantro. I started with an amount that was around 2 tbsp. and I chopped very finely. You don’t want big green leaves in your salsa. You can start with this and add a bit more at a time until you get it the way you want. The cilantro flavor will become more pronounced as the salsa cooks, so don’t add too much all at once.
Add your jalepeno. Mince it up very small and try not to touch any part of it with your hands. Keep your hand on the outside of the pepper and slice it thinly, then mince without touching. This is so you do not get any capsacin on your hands, then your mouth, nose, or eyes. That will hurt. And washing your hands will not completely remove it. Avoid touching it if at all possible.
Some of you may not like spicy salsa. I get that. Add a small amount of jalapeno, about a tbsp. anyway. The tiny amount will not add much spiciness, but it will add a nice depth of flavor. If you like your salsa really spicy, add as much as you like, or even try a spicier pepper. I just want an obvious kick, but nothing too hot. About 2 tbsp. was enough for me. Remember that the salsa will get spicier as it cooks and processes.
Add your lime juice.
Now, let it cook down for a good hour, on low. It needs to blend flavors and all that good stuff. Then, scoop a tiny amount into a bowl (this cools it off so it will not burn you) and taste with a small spoon or a chip, if you prefer. Add a bit more salt, lime juice, cilantro, etc. as desired.
When the salsa is done, use a ladle to scoop it into clean pint jars. Add a lid and ring. Place your finished jars into your canning pot.
Fill with water, and process for 20 – 25 minutes.
Then your salsa is done! Allow it to cool before putting it away. This should make 5 – 6 pints, depending on how much you let it cook down. I like to keep mine a bit on the thinner side.
**This post has been entered in Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways, Real Food Wednesday, Wild Crafting Wednesday.**
What’s your favorite salsa?
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