We eat a lot of salsa in our home. Not long ago I made twenty pints of salsa. I swear it was twenty pints, but now I’m only counting sixteen. Today I summoned the courage to preserve the last box of tomatoes. I scrounged up every last pint jar hiding in my home. Some of them were holding sea shells, buttons, or marbles. I needed every single jar.
Salsa is a labour of love. It took me a full afternoon to make this salsa. The recipe is based on the Basic Red Salsa from Local Kitchen. The difference is that this recipe makes four times the amount and the quantities are listed in kilograms, pounds and grams. I prefer weighing things because it allows me to have consistent results every year. If you want cup measurements I have included them below as well.
Basic Spicy Red Salsa
makes about 16 to 20 pints
7.25 kg (16 lbs) tomatoes
0.9 kg (2 lbs) (6 cups) onion
580 g (5 cups) poblano peppers (can substitute with green peppers)
280 g (2 cups) variety of hot peppers (jalapeno, Thai chili, cayenne)
175 g (24 cloves) garlic
1/2 cup lime juice
2 cups cider vinegar
2 Tbsp cumin
3 Tbsp. salt
2 cups cilantro, coarsely chopped
Start by peeling the tomatoes, if you want to. Boil a large pot of water and give the tomatoes a rinse. I learned a nifty trick from Well Preserved for getting the tomatoes skin to come off easily after blanching. Instead of marking an X at the bottom of the tomatoes, take a knife and mark up one side and then the other side of the tomatoes. A serrated knife works well. Boil the tomatoes, in batches, for 30-60 seconds, and then plunge them into a sink or pot of cold water. Peel away the skins. They should slip off easily.
Chop the tomatoes. You could use a food processor if you wanted to; it would save time. Otherwise chop the tomatoes with a good knife. Put the chopped tomatoes into a large stockpot.
Chop the onions. Same thing here. Do it by hand or with a food processor.
Chop the peppers. Chop the poblano peppers and mince the rest of the hot peppers. Please wear gloves and don’t touch your face. If you do happen to touch your lips don’t attempt to kiss your significant other until the burning sensation goes away… unless you both want “hot lips”. I speak from experience.
Mince the garlic. A garlic press gets the job done fast. A food processor doesn’t work great for garlic, at least mine doesn’t.
Add all the ingredients (except the cilantro!) into a large stock both. That includes the cider vinegar, lime juice, cumin and salt.
Bring the salsa to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. At this point you might want to think about preparing the canner, jars and lids, if you haven’t already.
Add the cilantro. You should probably mince it before you do, unless you want cilantro springs floating around. Simmer the salsa for another couple minutes.
Pour into clean jars, put on lids and place into a waterbath canner.
Once the water canner is at a boil process for 20 minutes (or 15 minutes if you live between 0-1000 feet elevation).