I belong to an email group about preparedness. We frequently have group buys of produce items and the prices are always exceptional. This time of year, with produce ripening, the email notifications come rapidly. Last week’s bulk buy was tomatoes – 25 pounds at .52 cents! – so I took the time and spent my day canning salsa.
The description from Deer Island Farms was too good to pass up:
Salsa Tomatoes. (New crop) These are a grab bag that can be a mixture of Roma and regular tomatoes of all sizes that are ripe and ready to be used. There may be a few green ones. They are sold mostly to restaurants that use them immediately to make fresh salsa. You can expect minor to moderate bruising. They would also be good for canning. – 25 lb box for $13 ($0.52/lb)
They were right about one thing, these tomatoes needed to be used immediately! I like being able to get a good deal and put some summer goodness away for the cold winter months. Plus this box of 25 pounds of tomatoes made 21 pints of salsa, more than enough to last us until next tomato season. So away we go with the canning salsa recipe.
For one batch (7 pints) of salsa you will need:
15 medium tomatoes, washed and roughly cut (skins on if you want) (cost $4.33)
6 medium bell peppers, washed, seeded, and chopped (cost $3.00)
5 medium onions, diced (cost $3.75)
1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped (cost minimal – from my garden)
2 large Anaheim chili (or other chili depending on your spiciness preference), washed, seeded, and chopped – Wear gloves and don’t touch your eyes when you do this (cost $1.50)
3 heaping tablespoons chopped garlic (cost minimal – from my garden)
3 teaspoons salt (cost minimal – from food storage)
spices to taste
1 and 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar (cost $.15 cents)
2 6-oz cans of tomato paste (cost minimal – from food storage)
For a list of canning equipment, view the Canning 101 post from Tyra.
- Combine all ingredients except the tomato paste into a large pot and simmer until it reaches the desired thickness.
- Stir in the tomato paste.
- If desired, use a stick blender to make your salsa pieces smaller. NOTE: My husband hates tomatoes, but will eat finely chopped salsa and ketchup. Go figure!
- Ladle into pint jars and process at a full rolling boil for 15 minutes in a water-bath canner.
- Remove from the canner and let the jars completely cool.
- Once they have sealed, you can remove the bands or keep them in the jar.
- Label the jars with the date that you processed them and the contents of each jar.
This salsa recipe is considered short term food storage – it will last up to 5 years with proper storage. The bonus – it only cost me $1.82 per pint.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you recan canned tomatoes in salsa?
Although you can freeze salsa prepared with canned tomatoes simply by packing the salsa in freezer-safe boxes or bags, the quality of frozen salsa begins to deteriorate after just a month or two. For longer storage, preserve salsa by canning it in a water bath or pressure canner.
How do you preserve salsa without canning?
The acid ingredients help preserve canned salsas and make them safe for water bath canning. Most often bottled vinegar or bottled lemon juice is used. Use only commercial and bottled products.
An equal amount of bottled lemon juice may be substituted for vinegar in recipes, but do not substitute vinegar for lemon juice. This substitution will result in a less acid and potentially unsafe canned salsa. If the product is too “acidic” or tart for your taste, add a bit of sugar to offset. Do NOT cut down on the acid!
Tomatoes and fruit ingredients should be just ripe, free of cuts, rot, or mold. Do not reduce the quantity in the recipe. Overripe tomatoes may be too low in acid for safety. If green mangoes are called for in the recipe, do not use ripe mangos as they also may be too low in acid for safety.
Peppers, onions, and other low acid ingredients must also be added in amounts given in the recipe. An extra pepper might just throw you into the low acid realm…measure and count carefully.
Spices such as cumin, dried oregano, salt, and pepper can be adjusted to taste. However, fresh herbs such as cilantro (a low acid ingredient) should be added according to the recipe. You can always add the fresh herbs just before serving for the freshest flavor.
In the end, you need to follow the recipe as well as you possibly can to get the full effect and store it properly.
Check out our other Bulk Buy posts:
If you live in the Portland Oregon or Vancouver Washington area and want to be put on Dale’s email list for future purchases, contact him at graffrd