Fiesta Garden Salsa
Fiesta Garden Salsa

Fiesta Garden Salsa

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This is one of those recipes where I truly had to step back and give myself a pat on the back. All of the produce, except the cilantro (which is optional) and the green onions came from my own backyard! Lucky for me, this fiesta garden salsa is a MAJOR winner, AND I have seeds to grow green onions this fall…I may need to make this a time or two…or three…more times before the growing season is done.

Fiesta Garden Produce

Fiesta Garden Salsa

[Yield: (4) Pints]

Materials:

[Note: all materials can be found on The Necessities for reference]

  • 4 pint jars (plus flat lids and bands/rings)
    [Hint: As always, I recommend an extra jar or two.]
  • Kitchen gloves
    [Optional but let me tell you – my hands burned for 2 days after prepping the hot peppers]
  • 1 water bath
  • 1 funnel
  • 1 jar lifter
  • 1 stainless steel ladle
  • 1 large stainless steel pot (or dutch oven)
  • 1 dish towel (large enough for the jars to cool on)
Fiesta Garden Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 7 cups chopped, cored, PEELED, tomatoes
    [Tomatoes MUST be peeled, however it is option whether or not you remove the seeds.]
  • 3 cups chopped peppers
    • Peppers can be swapped for any variety as long as you use no more than 3 cups total. It is optional to remove seeds – the more seeds you have the more heat you’ll have. I used (all with seeds):
      • 2 cups banana peppers
      • 1/2 cup jalapeno peppers
      • 1/2 cup anaheim peppers
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 1 tsp non-iodized salt
  • 2 tbsp bottled lime or lemon juice

[Hint: feel free to add any dried spices of your liking!]

Process:

  1. Inspect each of your jars for cracks, chips, and/or any other questionable markings before use.
  2. Place wire rack into bottom of water bath with ‘arms’ up to allow jars to be placed.
  3. Fill your water bath with enough water to cover each of the jars with 2-3″ of liquid and place on burner to warm jars (simmer but do not boil).
  4. Start with preparing your tomatoes by boiling water in a pot. Place washed tomatoes in the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Then, remove from water, and peel off the skin.
  5. Core and chop your peeled tomatoes until you have 7 cups.
  6. Combine your prepared tomatoes, and all other prepped ingredients in your large stainless steel or dutch oven. pot.
    [Hint: It is very important to not use aluminum cookware or utensils with tomatoes as the acid will react leaving a bitter taste.]
  7. Once combined, bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring frequently, continue to boil for 10 minutes until the salsa has slightly thickened.
  8. Remove empty jars from water bath by lifting the wire rack and setting the arms on the rim of the water bath. Then, using jar lifter empty and remove the jar from the water.
  9. Using a ladle and funnel, add the fiesta garden salsa  into a hot jar keeping a 1/2 in head space. [Note: Head space is the distance from the top of the jar to the food filling the jar.]
  10. Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth ensuring that the rims are clean.
  11. Place flat lid and screw band on jar and finger tighten.
    [Hint: Place the jar on a towel and using only your fingers, tighten the band until your jar spins on the towel.]
  12. Once finger tightened, return to warm water bath to avoid thermal shock. [Thermal shock is the cracking of jars from an extreme temperature swing such as putting hot food into a cold jar.] Lower wire rack once full.
  13. Place lid on canner, return to high heat and bring water to a full rolling boil.
  14. Once boiling, set timer for 15 minutes
    [Hint: refer to Elevation Rules to see how it changes your processing time].
  15. After 15 minutes, turn off heat and remove the lid. Wait an additional 5 minutes.
  16. Once again, lifting wire rack and placing arms on canner rim, use the jar lifter to remove your filled jars and place on a towel in a cool & draft-free location.
  17. Wait 24 hours before touching the jars. After 24 hours, remove the bands and pick up each jar from the flat lid (this will help ensure that each jar is truly sealed). Once the seal is verified, you may wash the exterior of the jars, dry, label, and store for future use.

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