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Cherry salsa is a fantastic choice for a canning project.  There is a short window of time to prepare it fresh, it can be hard to find commercially and it is super-delicious!

Since cherries are on the pricey side, towards the end of the season is the best time to take advantage of sales (unless you are lucky enough to have a cherry tree and can harvest your own).  Stock up, spend an afternoon canning and you'll have fresh cherry salsa year-round.

Step 1: Ingredients


Ingredients
3 lbs cherries
1 bunch cilantro
1 long hot pepper
6 small sweet peppers
1/2 cup water
5 Tbs sherry vinegar
6 cloves garlic
2 Tbs chia seeds (for thickening and they are crazy-healthy, can substitute 1 Tbs dissolved cornstarch)
Juice from 2 limes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Tools
1/2 pint canning jars (8)
Paper towels
Cloth towel
Asparagus steamer (or actual canning equipment)
Oven mitt (or canning tongs)
Knife
Cutting board
Juicer
Saucepan
Chopstick

Step 2: Cut Your Fruit and Veggies


Prepare fresh salsa...
  1. Pit and cut cherries
  2. Juice limes
  3. Mince garlic, peppers and cilantro
  4. Mix ingredients in a bowl and add salt and pepper
If you are not planning to can the salsa, you're done!  Otherwise, move to the next step.

Step 3: Cook


Pour salsa into saucepan.  Briefly cooking the salsa before canning (called hot-packing) will help retain color and flavor after canning. Bring mixture to a boil for 1 minute, then reduce to a simmer for 3 - 5 minutes.

Fill canning jars...
  1. After each is filled, slowly mix with a small utensil to remove air bubbles.  In this case, a chopstick was used
  2. Wipe sides and mouth with a paper towel to remove any salsa that could get between the lid and the jar
  3. Place lid and tightly screw on top

Step 4: Can


Jar goes into cage...

Cage goes into water...

Cover and boil for 15 minutes.


Step 5: Remove and Store


Remove jar from the rack using an oven mitt (a Pac-Man oven mitt if possible) and set on a towel until cool. 

Press down on center of each jar to make sure they are sealed.  If not, rinse jar and repeat process.

Store in a cool, dry place for up to a year. 

Look forward to enjoying your summery, fresh salsa in the middle of winter : )
<p>Has this recipe been verified safe for canning? Sometimes fruit salsas are difficult to can because of the pH. Also, how would you modify the recipe to use sour (tart) cherries instead of sweet? Thank you! </p>
Arrrrgh! Must cilantro be in everything? To those few others, I'm not fond of the terrible taste or what it does to my innards. <br><br>There are other much more benevolent and pleasing spices, yes?
You could maybe chuck in half the amount of flat leaf parsley?
This looks wonderful! What type of hot and sweet peppers did you use? It looks like a green bell and some various habaneros. Also, what types of things do you serve this with?
I used one hot pepper (the green one is one of the longer hot peppers rather than a bell) and some sweet mini peppers. I'd never seen the mini peppers before, but they were cute, so I incorporated them.<br><br>This is a medium-spicy, so add or subtract hot peppers accordingly. It's also super-garlicly, so you might want to do some taste tests as you go. <br><br>It seems that a lot of people serve this with fish or chicken. I just have it with chips : )<br><br>Thank you for the comment!
The 'longer hot pepper' looks like an anaheim chili, from what I can tell. They are really tasty when grilled.
Ok, that sounds good... I'll adjust accordingly. I saw the mini-sweets at the market today, too. Very cute! :)<br><br>Good luck on the contest!
To say this is good is an understatement! My daughter an I made it today and WOW! Good basic to start with . Make it different by &quot;tweeking&quot; with fresh ginger, less cilantro, a different vinegar maybe? Less cilantro wouldn't hurt for in some cases. Fast, easy and tasts wonderful! A pleasure to make and more of a pleasure to gift and eat!
I love this! Thanks for sharing! The pictures are amazing!
OMGosh... this looks SO delicious... I'm voting NOW!!!
Thanks!
I'm not sure how 8 half-pint jars could EVER be enough salsa for a year :)

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