Thursday, August 06, 2015

Can Your Own Spicy Tomato Salsa
Great Project For The Weekend!

Tomato salsa with blistered padron peppers.

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Canning Salsa 
I love growing tomatoes but there are just so many we can eat. So Doug and I do a lot of canning, usually tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. But last weekend we tried our hand at making and canning our own spicy salsa with tomatoes, padron peppers, fresh garlic, and jalapeños - all from our garden. 

This salsa uses padron peppers but you can also use other types of peppers too. The reason I favor padron peppers, besides the fact that I have so many of them, is that there is no need to peel them after they are blistered. Anaheim, poblanos, etc. usually need to be peeled after charring them. That can be a tedious step.

Padron peppers are so easy to grow.

Of course we throw in a few jalapeños too just to give it a bit more heat but that depends on how hot you like it. I find that a few small ones do the trick. You can add them with or without their seeds or omit them completely. It's up to you.

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Spicy Tomato Salsa with Blistered Padron Peppers
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
[makes about 6 pints]

Requires a water bath canner, jar lifter, 6 pint glass jars with lids and rims.

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound padron peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 pounds tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small jalapeños, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Fill a large canning pot with water with the steamer rack inserted in the bottom. Bring to a boil. Wash the jars in soapy water. Once washed, submerge the jars in the boiling water of the water bath canner. They can remain there while you prepare the salsa.

Place the lids and rims in a small pot of boiling water and let simmer until needed.

Wash and dry the padron peppers. Place them in a bowl and drizzle with oil. Toss them until they are well coated. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.

Spread them out on a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan. Place in the oven and roast until the peppers blister, around 5 to 7 minutes or more. Shake or turn so that they blister evenly.

Remove the blistered peppers from the oven. Pull or cut off the tops but leave the seeds. Dice and set aside.

Prepare the tomatoes. You'll need a medium sized pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Score the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes and boil until the skin starts to peel off, about 1 minute. Remove from the boiling water and place in an ice water bath until they cool. Peel the tomatoes.

Chop the tomatoes and place, along with their juice, in a large stainless steel or ceramic coated pot. Do not use aluminum as it will react with the tomatoes. I always use my 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven with its enamel coating. 

Add the onions, jalapeños, garlic, vinegar, prepared padron peppers, and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt (or to taste) to the pot of tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Fill each jar to 1/2 inch from the top. Run a knife around the edges to remove any air bubbles in the jars. 

Wipe the tops of the jars clean with a paper towel. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rims (snug but not too tight). 

Carefully place the jars in the hot water bath covered with 1 to 2 inches of water. Bring to a rolling boil and process for 15 minutes and longer if you are at higher altitude (20 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet and 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.)

Lift the jars out of the hot water bath using a jar lifter.

Place the jars on a towel or a cooling rack and let them remain untouched until they cool completely and the lids have popped and sealed. Lid should not move up an down if it's properly sealed.

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