Perfect, Simple, Spicy Salsa
In the Ball Blue Book this is called, “Spicy Tomato Salsa.”
I love it because of the simplicity. Lots of freshness. Perfect, bright flavor.
Can I tell you something about salsa?
- First, if you use too many peppers (banana or bell) it will be sweet.
- Second, if you use too many onions, it will taste like spaghetti.
- Third, if you don’t add enough hot peppers and salt no one will want to eat it.
Before you grab the first tomato do 2 things:
ONE: Put all the jars, lids and rings into an empty dishwasher and run it on ‘sanitize.’ This will sanitize all the canning equipment for you. When you are ready to ladle the hot salsa into jars – they will be clean and piping hot. Which is what you want.
TWO: Fill the canner (hot water bath) 1/2 full and put it on the stovetop to simmer. This ensures the bath is hot and ready the second you fill the last jar.
Grab a food processor & join me… let’s make some Perfect, Spicy Salsa!
Wash and core 6 pounds of tomatoes.
This is what 6 pounds of tomatoes look like. It almost fills a gallon pitcher.
Yes, I put them on my bathroom scale and weighed them.
A couple of notes:
- I squeezed most of the juice out of the tomatoes as I moved them to this pitcher.
- I caught the juice in another pitcher so I was able to can the tomato juice separately.
- Why? Because I don’t like watery salsa.
Set the tomatoes aside and grab some onions.
Peel and dice 3 cups of onion (do not pack into the cup). You don’t want too much onion. Dump the diced onion into a large stockpot.
Next, grab 6 large jalapeno peppers (or 12 small ones).
Wash, remove stems, seeds & membranes from the jalapenos. Then run them into the food processor until they are diced into small bits. Add them to the big pot with the onions.
Now, mince 9 hot chili peppers and add them to the pot. If you don’t like too much spice, start with half the amount of peppers and add more to your taste.
It’s time to get back to the tomatoes.
Run the tomatoes through a food processor until they are completely chopped up. Work in small batches.
Add the diced tomatoes to the pot with the onions and peppers.
The recipe in the Ball Blue Book also has 15 cloves of garlic. Feel free to add this. I decided to pass on the garlic breath today.
Next, add the salt and vinegar and get it hot on the stovetop. The Ball Blue Book boils this salsa for 10 minutes – but if you do this you will have cooked salsa, which is gross if you ask me.
I like mine fresh. I get it just hot enough to boil & turn down the heat. You don’t want to cook it. As soon as it begins to simmer, turn the heat to low and ladle the salsa into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Wipe rims, adjust lids and rings and process in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Start timing the 10-minute water bath after the water returns to a boil.
Follow all directions specific to your canner.
After boiling, set jars to cool undisturbed at room temperature for 24 hours.
Check all lids for seal. If any lids did not seal, move salsa to a refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.