Homemade Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

27 Aug
Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Serranos and Peppers

Serranos, Jalapeno, and Pasilla Peppers

I am reblogging this recipe from last summer for you. I made another batch of this last weekend. This year, though, I had some beautiful heirloom tomatoes and my very own Serrano peppers that I grew to make it with! My husband said I didn’t make it spicy enough last year so I tossed in three Serranos this year instead of two, and one of them was the hotter fiery red and another one was already turning red. I also substituted the spicier Pasilla peppers instead of using Anaheim. He had no complaints this year. I hope you enjoy!

Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

It was so much fun to get back into canning again! I have not canned anything in several years, but this year we have a bumper crop from my husband’s Hanging Tomato Plant Experiment. He got this crazy idea to plant a gazillion tomato seedlings (OK about 70) in hanging flower pot baskets upside-down, then sell them.

Hanging Tomato Plants on Side of House

Hanging Tomato Plants on Side of House

Well, the idea worked, except he didn’t sell nearly enough of them. We have about 50 of them left, all hooked up to this crazy hanging basket contraption on two sides of our house, with an automated watering system he devised, which thank goodness works because we do go out of town time to time.

Hanging Tomato Plants on Deck

Hanging Tomato Plants on Deck

That being said, I harvested a bunch of our ripe beefsteak tomatoes for this canning project. I looked up a bunch of recipes online, and settled on one that fit my taste but then of course adapted it. I barely eeked out 5 full pint jars of this, and was hoping for some partially leftover to snack on the day I made it fresh, but that will have to wait, as I wanted full jars. However, my taste test passed with flying colors! If you have an abundance of tomatoes this year from your crop, you can make some too! Here is what I did:

Basket of Ripe Tomatoes

Basket of Ripe Tomatoes

Homemade Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa
Adapted from Simply Recipes

5 to 6 pounds fresh tomatoes (I used 5 1/2)
3 large Anaheim peppers
2 large Serrano peppers
1 large Jalapeño pepper
1 large onion (I used sweet Walla-Walla), diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (this took about 2 largish limes)
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped, including stems (fresh from my herb garden!)
2 teaspoons dried, crushed, Mexican Oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground Sea Salt
1 teaspoon sugar

OK now you have the ingredients list.  Next is the prep for the canning process, which is the one of the longest parts. Here is the special equipment stuff you need:

Canning Equipment:

5 or 6 pint canning jars (I used 5 but prepped 6 of them just in case)
Large stockpot for for canning (mine is 15-quart or so)
Flat steamer rack to fit pot (so cans don’t touch glass on metal directly, which can crack them)
Canning tongs for adding and removing jars from boiling water (you can do without but be careful!)

First I started prepping the jars and lids. Fill your stockpot about three-quarters of the way full with water, then put on high heat to boil. Meanwhile, go pick those ‘maters! Since it takes a long while for that much water to boil, now you can inspect your just-picked tomatoes for defects, then core and score them. Core the tomatoes and stems, then cut/slice off any bad spots. Score them lightly through the skin in half to make peeling easier. Now boil the jars for at least 10 minutes. At that point, go ahead and turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water for now.

Anaheim, Serrano, and Jalapeno Peppers

Anaheim, Serrano, and Jalapeno Peppers

This next job I assigned to by dear husband Paul, who has been towing the line for me in the cooking category recently with my workload. Lightly grease a hot grill with oil, then roast the peppers on all sides until blackened and charred all over. Put them in a paper or plastic bag for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, (again) roast those tomatoes on broil in your oven on a large rimmed cookie sheet for about 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. I would have had hubby do them on the grill with the peppers but didn’t want to overwhelm him with the task at hand. I think it worked out better that way as I needed the juice from the tomatoes.

Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Once the peppers and tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel the skins off the peppers (with latex gloves!) then peel the skins from the  tomatoes. Dice both of them up now (you might need to reserve the juices from tomatoes when chopping, as you need a minimum of 7 cups of diced tomatoes and their liquid to balance the acidity) and add to a very large saucepan or skillet with all the rest of the ingredients. ( p.s. do not use an aluminum pot, as it can leach the aluminum from the acid from the tomatoes.) Bring all of this up to a good boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.

While all that is simmering, place the lids and caps in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Oh yeah, put a teakettle of water on to boil about 10 minutes ago. Oops! I forgot that too. I hope you read this all the way through before attempting.

Pot of Simmering Salsa

Pot of Simmering Salsa

After simmering, place half the salsa in a blender and puree, then add it back to the pot. If you like chunkier salsa , then you don’t have to do this. I decided on half and half. The original recipe recommends tasting the salsa at this point to either add  more sugar if too bitter or more vinegar if too sweet, but I found this to be the perfect balance!

Now remove the jars one at a time from the canning pot and ladle the salsa into the jars, leaving  a half-inch or more head space from the lid. Wipe the rim of the jars to remove any spilled salsa on them (which is easy to do!).  Tighten the lids only hand tight, and do not over-tighten them. Place all the jars back into the canning pot still filled with hot water, then bring up to a roiling boil. Big boil OK? Not just a few bubbles.  Process at a full boil for 15 minutes for 0-1000 ft. altitude, 20 minutes for 1000- 6,000 ft. altitude, and 25 minutes above that. I fell into the second category in case you are interested.

Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

At your recommended boiling mark, turn off the heat and let sit five minutes.  Remove the jars from the pot, then place them on some thick towels to cool down. The lids will “POP” when they have cooled when creating the suction for the canning process. I did not get to hear this phenomenon this time as I had to go upstairs to my home office to work for the remainder of the day.

So there it is! This took me a little under four hours from start to finish. Yes, it’s a half-day project, but it was completely satisfying to turn our homegrown tomatoes into some delicious salsa for future snacks and meals.

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9 Responses to “Homemade Canned Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa”

  1. Juliette Kings August 27, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    What timing! This is beautiful. This is a perfect salsa recipe (beginners – yes this is the one to use.)

    I canned 15 jars last night – I’ve been making salsa every summer for the past 20 years. There is nothing like making your own – it is always good and better than anything you’ll find in a store.

    Liked by 1 person

    • anotherfoodieblogger August 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      I agree Juliette! I was bummed I didn’t have more ripe tomatoes yet to do more in one batch for all that work, but I only had 6 pounds ripe so far and had to use them up before they went bad. Such is the life of living in the Pacific Northwest. Our growing season is so short. I have lots of green tomatoes on the vine, but I’m afraid we’ll be moving before they ripen. Then I’ll just cut them off the vines and put in brown paper bag and hope for the best! Thank you for commenting!

      Like

  2. Conor Bofin August 28, 2014 at 5:43 am #

    Lovely salsa. Though, you need to control that husband of yours.

    Like

    • anotherfoodieblogger August 28, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

      Thank you Conor! Yes, he was a little over-eager with his tomato-selling plan. This year we only have 10 baskets for personal consumption. 🙂

      Like

  3. chef mimi August 28, 2014 at 6:32 am #

    I love your hanging tomato plants! I have absolutely no place from which to hang plants, sadly. Great salsa recipe. Loved the roasting step.

    Like

    • anotherfoodieblogger August 28, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

      Thank you Mimi! That’s too bad you don’t have a spot for them. But you can always buy lovely tomatoes from your farmer’s market, if you have one of those! If not, more and more grocery stores are selling organic tomatoes.

      Like

  4. tinywhitecottage August 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    I love this salsa recipe! We have only made fresh salsa (non cooked) but, I really want to try your recipe. Get a load of those hanging tomato plants! What a great space saver and with a new twist on gardening what great fun! I only planted three tomato plants this year and they are producing so many! I can’t even imagine having 50 plants!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • anotherfoodieblogger August 31, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

      It was over-the-top crazy, I tell you! But we got it down to a manageable 10 upside down planters this year. Our bounty last year were those 5 jars of salsa, and 24 jars of plain canned tomatoes, and several Ziploc bags of blanched, peeled and frozen ones. This year our bounty so far are the 5 jars I just posted, and tomorrow I’ll harvest the remaining red ones and blanch and freeze them. My canning stuff is now packed in boxes in the garage in preparation for our pending move to a new house. Thanks for the comment! This cooked salsa is a hit!

      Like

  5. Michael's Woodcraft September 1, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Nothing better than homemade – fresh salsa! Looks delicious, I could eat a whole jar with chips while watching football! Would be great for tailgating. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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