Mariquita Farm
tomatoes and jalapenos

Salsa for Canning Photo Essay

I used early girl tomatoes and red jalapeños for this batch, you could use nearly any tomatoes and spicy pepper you have.

This one photo is taken by our friend Patrick. All other photos by Julia Wiley.


tomatoes from oven drying I cut the 5# of tomatoes in half and put them in glass baking pans. Then put them in a 250 degree oven for 3 hours while I did other house chores. This is what they looked like when they came out of the oven.  

tomatoes cooking

I dropped the entire halves and all their juice into the stainless pot: along with the vinegar, garlic, salt and raw chopped peppers.  

I halved the jalapeños. You could use any spicy pepper here. You can remove the white inner part and the seeds to lower the heat/spiciness a bit. I didn't for this batch.

jalape˝owhirled I 'chopped' roughly in the blender (vitamix, a food processor would work great too) the jalapeños. I was looking for maximum speed on this project on this day. You could of course do this all by hand and make uniform sizes.  
jarred salsa! The final product! I poured the final salsa into hot sterilized jars then hot water boiled them in my canner for 20 minutes each. That's just what I did: you can follow your own rules on cooking etc.  

Cooked Tomato Salsa for Canning

5 pounds tomatoes, preferably no larger than 2 inches wide or long: if using larger tomatoes cut them into quarters instead of halves
2 pounds green or red peppers, hot or mild, stemmed. remove seeds if you want a milder salsa
1 cup lime juice (I've used half rangpur lime juice and half lisbon lemon juice when that's all I had. Meyer lemons are too sweet, avoid those.)
3-6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 ½ tablespoons pickling salt (any salt without iodine)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove green calixes, cut tomatoes in half, and cut out any thick cores. Put the tomato halves cut-side up in a single layer in low-sided baking or roasting pans—glass, ceramic, or enameled pans will do. I used 3 different sized glass pans. Don't add oil: you want the tomatoes to dry out. Bake them for about 3 hours, until they have noticeably shriveled but haven't browned.

Put the tomato pieces into a large nonreactive pot, halving any large ones with shears as you do so. Seed the peppers or not, depending on your heat tolerance. Then mince the peppers. (if using a blender or food processor be careful not to liquefy them.) Add them to the pot along with the sliced garlic (I just got a nifty little garlic slicer!), lime/lemon juice and salt. Stir.

Bring the salsa to a simmer, and simmer it for 10 minutes. Ladle the salsa into pint or half-pint mason jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Close the jars with two-piece caps, and process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. With a Sharpie pen, mark the lids with the date, item and that you could add freshly chopped onions and cilantro before serving: "Hot Salsa 9/12 add onions & cilantro" is what my lids will say.

Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark place.
Makes about 6 pints.

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