Eggplant Salsa

Processing: Boiling Water Canner
15 minutes
Storage: 12 months+
Yield: 9 1/2 cups

A great salsa that would be fantastic served alongside meat, as a dip or even stirred into pasta!
5 cups diced eggplant
2 cups diced sweet red peppers (capsicum) (including a few finely diced chillies for heat, if you like)
1 cup finely diced onion
1/4 cup finely ground salt (no additives)
1/2 tablespoon finely ground salt (no additives)
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup tomato paste
3 1/2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
Prepare vegetables.
Wash the eggplant, removing ends and dicing into small pieces. Place into large mixing bowl with chopped red peppers (capsicum), onion and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Rinse vegetables, cook salsa.
Rinse vegetable mix several times and drain really well. Mix in a large pot with remaining ingredients (except lemon juice). Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes while you warm the jars and lids.
Prepare jars.
Prepare jars by covering in water and boiling for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat off, keep pot covered and leave jars hot until ready to fill.
Prepare lids.Warm lids in a bowl of boiling water. Let the lids heat through for a few minutes while you fill the jars, removing the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.    

Puree or chunky salsa?
Leave the salsa chunky as is, or puree to get a smooth salsa/sauce. Keep hot.
Ladle hot salsa into hot jars.
Immediately ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving a 1/2 inch (1cm) headspace (distance between the salsa level and the jar rim). Add a teaspoon of bottled lemon juice into each half-pint/250ml jar. Remove bubbles, wipe jar rims with damp paper towel then seal with the warm lids.
Boiling water bath processing.
Process in boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Start timing when the water returns to a full boil. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and rest jars in the 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. Jar lids should not flex up nor down when pressed and should be tightly vacuum sealed.
Serving ideas.
Serve as a side for meat, on bruschetta, as a dip or even stirred into pasta .....

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