How to Make a Salsa Even your Kids will (maybe!) Love
A bit overwhelmed by tomatoes and peppers from your garden this time of year? Yup, me too!
Thankfully, hubby LOVES salsa and I found this recipe that he thinks is absolutely awesome!
Now, I will tell you right off the bat that this salsa is very mild. There’s no bite to it. Hubby loves hot, but his acid reflux doesn’t, so I had to find a recipe that didn’t irritate his tummy, and this one hit the spot!
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Let’s move on to the recipe, and then I’ll give you some words of explanation afterwards.
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- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic (more or less to taste)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 10 cups coarsely chopped plum tomatoes (or a combination of varieties), skins removed
- 2 cups chopped peppers (green bell or other mild variety)
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Combine the chopped onions, chopped garlic and apple cider vinegar in a large pot (you’ll be adding everything else in later) and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil it gently for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes and peppers, return to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the cilantro, oregano, sugar and salt and return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 3 to 5 minutes.
At this point, the salsa is edible and can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. However, for longer term storage, you’ll want to can it.
Follow all safe canning procedures as outlined in a book like the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Prepare 4-5 pint jars and fill them with the hot salsa, leaving 1/2″ headspace.
This recipe can be safely water bath canned. If you’re looking for a water bath canner, check out the very reasonably priced one below. Note that if you have a flat top (ceramic) stove, you shouldn’t can on your stove. I use my pressure canner on the water bath setting instead. I’ve also included a link to the pressure canner I use below.
You should process the pints for 20 minutes. Be sure to check for good seal after 24 hours. If any haven’t sealed, place them in the fridge and use within a couple of weeks. Otherwise, properly sealed jars will store in a cool, dry place for at least a year (although they never last that long around here!)
Additional Notes and Helpful Hints
In Step One, when you boil the onions, garlic and vinegar, the smell is VERY strong! Much as my pepper relish recipe (you can find that post here), you’ll get your sinuses nicely cleaned out if you happen to breathe this stuff in. If you have an exhaust fan, USE IT!
I have used Egyptian Walking onions in this recipe and it works well. Not sure what those are? You can find my explanation and recipes here.
With the tomatoes, I do peel them, but I don’t bother removing the seeds. I used to boil and boil and boil, then peel and peel and peel. By the time I was done, I was exhausted and cranky and didn’t even want to make the salsa.
Because I have an autoimmune disease, I get tired easily and find that I have a lot of trouble with pain in my feet after a full day canning, so the following has been a game-changer for me….
I found this post from my fellow blogger Tamara over at the Reid Homestead and my life got SO MUCH EASIER! She suggests coring your tomatoes and cutting out any bad spots. Then just cut an X in the bottom of the tomatoes and place them all in freezer bags. Freeze them for a day or a week or a month or two, doesn’t matter. When you remove them from the freezer and they thaw, the skins will fall right off of them (REALLY! I’ve tried it!), and as a bonus, they release most of their extra juice as well.
So, if you happen to be making sauce (a future post, keep an eye out for it!), you don’t have to boil and boil and boil some more to get the sauce to thicken. It will thicken up much more quickly and save you hot and aggravating boil time because much of the fluid has already been released.
The other advantage to this is that you can freeze your tomatoes and make your sauce (or salsa!) later in the fall when it’s cool out (and in!) and you’ll enjoy heating up your kitchen. Win-win!
If you need some help growing tomatoes, you can find that post here. You can, of course, also purchase them from local farms or farmers markets.
I’m going to have to buy some tomatoes this year myself as our weather has been so incredibly hot and dry (think less than an inch of rain in the last month and 1/2 inch of that came last night!), that most of my plants are starting to give up the ghost. Even with soaker hoses, I just can’t keep up.
So, no shame in buying! Particularly if you’re supporting local farmers (bonus points if they’re organic!), you’re doing something good even if you’re not growing your own.
If you like more heat in your salsa, you could try to mix some hot peppers like jalapenos in with the mild ones. I can’t help you with ratios of hot to mild, though, as I’ve never tried it.
A note on the cilantro: With the last batch I made, I used some fresh cilantro I had previously frozen. If you’ve never frozen cilantro, it gets really icky-looking in the freezer, although the taste doesn’t change, so it’s perfectly ok to use.
However, you DON’T want to use a whole cup of the previously frozen stuff in your recipe! Trust me when I tell you that will be TOO MUCH CILANTRO! Cut it down quite a lot unless you LOVE cilantro!
As for long-term storage, I tried freezing the salsa from this recipe as the original recipe said it could be frozen. Hubby was NOT impressed! He said the consistency was really odd and he didn’t like it. So, canning it is!
Interestingly, I just made the salsa with the previously frozen tomatoes (as I talked about above) and he said it was fine. I’m not sure why the salsa frozen afterwards wasn’t ok, but the salsa made with previously frozen tomatoes was? Hmmmm….a question to ponder, I guess.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and thanks for reading!
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You’ll find some pinnable images below, so be sure to pin to your Recipes or Food Preservation boards for future reference.
Otherwise, smile and have a crazy organic day!
Posts Related to Simple Mild Salsa Recipe
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- Making Grape Jam