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
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
1/2 pint canning jars (8)
Asparagus steamer (or actual canning equipment)
Oven mitt (or canning tongs)
Step 2: Cut Your Fruit and Veggies
Prepare fresh salsa...
- Pit and cut cherries
- Juice limes
- Mince garlic, peppers and cilantro
- Mix ingredients in a bowl and add salt and pepper
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...
- After each is filled, slowly mix with a small utensil to remove air bubbles. In this case, a chopstick was used
- Wipe sides and mouth with a paper towel to remove any salsa that could get between the lid and the jar
- 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 : )