I enjoy canning salsa. What I don’t enjoy is spending hours chopping veggies into tiny pieces. Yes, I love to cook and one batch of salsa like this is fun, but six or seven? No thanks.
So this presented a bit of a problem. That was, until I started making Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff which I reviewed last year.
First of all, it tastes awesome – slightly sweet, but spicy. Second, there is no chopping! Well, very minimal chopping. The blender does all the work. As a result, after cooking you end up with a thick, but somewhat smooth salsa.
I’ve been making a lot of salsa this summer so I’ve had ample opportunity to experiment with the recipe by substituting peppers or adding herbs, all while keeping the important acidity the same.
As I mentioned earlier this summer, we planted 19 varieties of pepper plants. Some were just for fun and out of curiosity. Others were to help us learn exactly what we want to grow in the future, based on what I use most in the kitchen.
Poblanos are a keeper. This is the first year we’ve grown them and I’ve learned they have the perfect spiciness and cook well whether baked, broiled or grilled. So of course they had to make it into the salsa.
One of my favorite varieties this summer has been poblano and cilantro. As for tomatoes I’ve used heirlooms and San Marzanos, even mixed them here and there and all work out well.
This is great for a big party. Just cook it up, cool and serve, or if no such occasion is coming up, can it for later use.
Poblano Cilantro Salsa
Adapted from Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa, Canning for a New Generation
What you’ll need:
5 lbs. tomatoes, cored and halved
8 oz. Poblano peppers, halved, stems and seeds removed
2 oz. garlic cloves, peeled
1 lb. 6 oz. candy onions (or any sweet variety), peeled and quartered
½ cup cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1 tablespoon canning salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and loosely packed
How to make it:
Place the tomatoes cut side down on a baking sheet. With the broiler on high, broil for 10 minutes until the skins begin to blacken. Meanwhile on a separate baking sheet, place the peppers cut side down and spread out the garlic and onions into a single layer.
Remove the tomatoes from the broiler and set aside until cool enough to handle. Broil the peppers, garlic and onions for 10 minutes on high.
Remove the skins from the tomatoes and place in a blender. Add the peppers, garlic and onions. Work in batches if necessary, and pulse to finely chop all the veggies, but don’t puree completely. Pour the processed veggies into a large stock pot.
Add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Remove from heat, cool and serve. Store in the fridge and use within 3 days.
If canning, process in pints with a ½ inch headspace in a boiling water bath covering the jars by at least one inch. Process for 40 minutes. Makes 4 pints, maybe a little to spare depending on the type of tomatoes.
If you have questions about home-based microprocessing, the best resource around is the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia. Their FAQ page will likely answer any question you come up with.
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