This recipe is the culmination of several years of experimentation to find salsa with no onions (allergies in the family) and the right amount of heat. We like our salsa on the hotter side. You can always adjust it to make it taste better to you.
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 minutes
Canning time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- 12 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 2 ½ cups chopped banana peppers
- 3 cups chopped jalapeno peppers
- 1 head garlic
- 3 tablespoons cilantro or to taste
- 2 tablespoons salt or to taste
- Water-bath canner
- Large pots
- Cutting board
- Large wooden spoon
- Mini-chopper or food processor
- Measuring utensils
- Pint canning jars, rings
- New canning lids
- Large bowl
- Wide mouth funnel
Step 1: Prep for Canning
Fill your water-bath canner with water. Jars will need to be covered with at least 1 inch of water. Put your empty pint canning jars (no lids or rings) into water-bath canner rack and lower into the canner. Start heating the water in the canner. The water needs to be hot when you start the canning process so starting the water now allows plenty of time for the water to boil.
Set the rings aside so they are easily accessible.
Put new canning lids (one for each jar) into a small pot with water in it to soften the rubber seals. Place the lids gasket to gasket so the seals don’t seal together. Simmer the lids for about 10 minutes, then keep them warm until you are ready to use them. Exact time is not essential; you just want to get the gaskets on the lids soft and pliable so they seal well when you put them on your jars and start the canning process.
Step 2: Peel and Chop Tomatoes
To peel the tomatoes, boil a large pot of water. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Drop whole tomatoes into boiling water and leave them until the skins split. Once the skins split, take them out and immediately put them into the ice-bath. Peeling the tomatoes is now much easier. Using a paring knife, gently peel the skin off each tomato. Chop tomatoes to desired texture with a knife. Divide all of the tomatoes evenly into 2 large pots.
Step 3: Time for the Peppers...
1. Chop jalapenos.
NOTE: Jalapenos can burn your skin and eyes if touched, so you may want to put gloves on for this step. If you do not wear gloves while chopping the jalapenos, wash your hands before touching your eyes.
Cut the stem off the jalapenos with a knife on the cutting board. Cut the jalapenos in half and chop them in a mini-chopper/food processor. Divide all of the jalapenos evenly into the 2 large pots with the tomatoes. If you would like to reduce the heat you can remove the some of the jalapeno seeds, and/or not put as many jalapenos in the salsa.
2. Chop banana peppers.
Cut the stem off of the banana peppers with a knife on the cutting board. Cut the banana peppers into 2 or 3 pieces, and then chop them in a mini-chopper/food processor. Divide all of the banana peppers evenly into the 2 large pots with the tomatoes and jalapenos.
Step 4: Add More Flavor
1. Chop garlic.
Peel the head entire of garlic. Separate and peel the cloves of garlic. An easy way to peel the cloves is to put 1 clove flat side down under a wide blade knife. With the blade facing away from you use the heel of your hand to strike the blade immediately over the top of the garlic clove. This crushes the clove and separates the garlic from the peel. Repeat process until all off the cloves have been crushed. Chop all of the garlic in a mini-chopper/food processor. Divide all of the garlic evenly into the 2 large pots with tomatoes and peppers.
If you are using fresh cilantro, remove the leaves from the stems. Chop the leaves and measure 3 tablespoons or desired amount evenly between the 2 large pots. Divide the salt into the 2 large pots with tomatoes and peppers.
Note: I have used dried cilantro in place of fresh. As the salsa cooks down in the next step, flavor adjustments are easily made.
Step 5: Put the Pots Onto the Stove
Bring the 2 pots to a boil over high heat stirring occasionally. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Mix the pots together to evenly blend the flavors. This can be achieved by pouring both pots into a very large pot, or by spooning it back and forth between the cooking pots. Taste the salsa and adjust as needed. Now is the best time to add flavor so that it can blend together before being canned.
Step 6: Time to Can!
Carefully remove the hot jars from the canner, emptying any remaining water from the jars back into the canner. Using a wide mouth funnel, ladle the salsa into the prepared jars. Place the new canning lids (take them out of the small pot) onto the jars and secure them with the rings. Place all of the jars on the water-bath canner jar rack. Try to balance the rack as you load it, placing jars opposite from each other until the rack is full. This will prevent the rack from tipping over while you fill it. Lower the full rack into the canner. The water should be boiling. Process pints in the water-bath canner for 20 minutes. Carefully lift the rack out of the canner and rest the handles on the sides of the pot. Remove the jars from the rack the same way you put them in, from opposite sides so the rack doesn't tilt. Set the jars on a towel on the counter or other heat-proof surface and let them cool. Soon you should hear a popping sound being made by the lids sealing themselves. Once the jars are completely cooled off, rinse them off so they are clean.
Enjoy the salsa you made! This salsa will be perfect for every occasion!