Tomato Salsa

Processing: Boiling Water Bath Canner 15mins (half-pint, pint)
Storage: 12 months +
Yield: 10 cups 
    
Salsa is usually a combination of sweet tomatoes and spicy peppers/chillies. This delicious, fresh-flavoured tomato salsa has both options: so you can make it as mild (or hot) as you like! The additional of italian spices makes this a salsa you will enjoy using in everything! I made this basic mild salsa for my daughters, who enjoy it with crackers as a snack, as a condiment with dinner, on hot dogs and in grilled wraps. And don't forget nachos!
       
Ingredients:
5 pounds (2.3kg) firm, ripe tomatoes
2 1/2 cups onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup bottled lemon juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canning salt (ie kosher or pickling)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
OPTIONAL: up to 2 cups of diced sweet peppers OR hot peppers OR chillies
         
Prepare tomatoes.
Wash tomatoes, drain. Remove cores and blemishes (if any). Place upwards on a lined baking tray. Grill until skins split. Cover and cool for a few minutes until safe to handle. Slip skins off and discard. Remove seeds (optional) and dice tomatoes. We will use the tomato juice also so place that in a bowl with the diced tomatoes.

    
Combine ingredients.
In a large, heavy-based pan, combine all ingredients. Stir gently to combine. Heat over medium while sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil then simmer for around 30 minutes or until thickened to your liking. Taste, seasoning if required.
    
Prepare jars.
Prepare jars by covering in water and boiling for 10 minutes.

   
Prepare lids.
While you are simmering the salsa, place the lids into a pan of previously boiling water. Do not simmer or boil, just let the lids heat through for a few minutes while you fill the jars with the salsa, removing the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.

     
Ladle hot salsa into hot jars.
Ladle hot salsa into your prepared hot jars to 1/2 inch headspace. Remove bubbles, wipe rims and seal. 
      
        
Boiling water canner processing.
Process in boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.
      
Next day: check for seals.
Check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months.
    
NOTES:
  • Adjust dried spices - try oregano and garlic
  • Leave out spices entirely for a plain salsa
  • Experiment with different chillies, sweet peppers (ie red, yellow, green or combination) or hot peppers, or use dried chilli flakes
  • Change your tomato variety: ie cherry tomatoes, baby romas, etc
  • Use red or white onion (or a mixture of both) instead of brown onions
  • Use bottled lime juice instead of the bottled lemon juice
  • DO NOT add extra ingredients or change the quantities listed
  • DO NOT substitute vinegar for the bottled lemon juice
      
For more photos of this recipe, visit HERE

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