Heirloom Salsa Round 2

I made some salsa last year with all of my heirloom tomatoes, but it didn’t turn out. At least not to my taste. It was too mild and too bland.

I decided that I would not make the same mistake this year.

The recipe I used is a mish mosh of many recipes I found on Pinterest. I took what I liked, ignored what I didn’t and used my own judgement for the rest.

I had been throwing my tomatoes in the freezer as I harvested them. I think I had around 20# of tomatoes in grocery sacks in the freezer.

I thawed them out, peeled (most) of the skins, chopped them up, threw some in the food processor and popped all into a stock pot.

I had a variety of tomatoes, most of them heirlooms: beefsteak, Aunt Ruby’s, Green Zebra, Black Prince and Mr. Stripey.

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Next, I chopped the peppers I had saved. Jalapeno, serrano, cherry, cayenne, pepperoncini and a few others I got from a friend’s garden.

I kept some seeds and ribs in the peppers to add some extra heat.

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I peeled three bulbs of garlic, chopped 3 large onions and threw it all, including the peppers, into a food processor and pulsed until they were finely chopped.

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All of this went into the pot with the tomatoes. I cooked it for 2 hours and then added white vinegar (for preservation) and cilantro, both fresh and from cubes I had frozen in oil earlier in the year.

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Then, I cooked it for the recommended 20 minutes, but it was still too thin and watery so I ended up cooking it for most of the afternoon. I added three cans of tomato paste to hurry the thickening process along.

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Finally, the consistency was right and it was time for a taste test.

It was spicy, ridiculously so…even for me. I knew it would just get spicier as it sat so I added more tomato paste to tone it down.

It was still hot after I cooked it down some more, but it was just how I like it.

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This process took most of the day so I opted to can it the next day.

The Ball Canning Book, the must-have guide for all canning endeavors, said to heat the water to 212* for acidic foods and boil the filled jars for 15 minutes at that heat.

Unfortunately, one of my jars popped as soon as it hit the water. I think I had it too hot. I had to pour the water out of the pot and start the boiling process all over again.

By the end of the day, I had 6 pint jars and 2 quart jars of spicy salsa.

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It’s delicious and I just know spicy food lovers will enjoy it.

I might give some of it away with a bag of chips and homemade taco seasoning as a Christmas gift.

Maybe.

Ridiculously Spice Salsa
(But you can tone it down.)
Around 20# of tomatoes
Peppers, as many as you can handle.
Onions to your taste. I used 3 big ones.
Garlic to your taste. I used 3 bulbs.
1 cup of white vinegar to preserve
Salt to your taste. I used a couple of heaping tablespoons.
Tomato paste to thicken to your liking.

Equipment
Water bath pot with canning rack
Thermometer
Canning jar lifter
Jars, rings and lids
Ball Blue Book Guide

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