How to Can Salsa

Make summer goodness last all year long.
canning homemade salsa

canning homemade salsa

Cook up and preserve some delectable homemade salsa with ingredients straight from your garden.

Cook up and preserve some delectable homemade salsa with ingredients straight from your garden.

We’ve been on a homemade salsa kick here lately. Fresh veggies, bright herbs and the delightful heat of the occasional habanero straight from the garden. To enjoy our spectacular homemade palate pleaser any time of the year, we need only pack it into pint jars, slap on some bands and lids and drop it in a water bath to seal it up. Right? Not so fast. For many vegetables, a little something extra is needed for safe and effective water bath canning. That thing is acidity and this salsa doesn’t have nearly enough. We can fix that. Break out the vinegar and let’s make some salsa!

We’ve dealt with water bath canning tomatoes and peppers safely here before.  The tomatoes used lemon juice. The peppers were pickled in vinegar. When water bath canning lower acid produce, the heat of the boil does a fine job of knocking out most bacteria, molds and enzymes. Just not quite all of them. The addition of acid in the form of vinegar or citric acid (lemon or lime juice) will lower the pH, making it less hospitable to bacterial growth.

The same rule applies to canning salsa, of course. Fortunately, vinegar and lime juice both play very well with the bold and beckoning flavors of a well-made salsa. It stores well, travels well, and it’s pretty enough to put a bow on and tuck under some lucky salsa lover’s tree this holiday season.

Variations on this recipe include roasting the tomatoes before use, experimenting with herbs or leaving some or all of the seeds in when adding the jalapeno to bring the heat. If adjusting the recipe, though, be attentive to the ratio of tomatoes and other vegetables to the acidic elements (vinegar and lime juice). Balance is essential for a safe and successful preservation of the low-acid harvest.

Canning Salsa

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cup bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy pot and bring to boil at medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes.

Ladle salsa into sterile pint jars, leaving 1/2” headspace.

Seal jars with bands and lids and process 15 minutes in water bath.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Garden to Table: Broccoli

With its sweet high notes and sulfurous body, broccoli might be the perfect vegetable.

Garden to Table: Kale

Loaded with nutrients, including beta carotene and vitamin C, kale is good…and good for you.

Garden to Table: Peppers

Understanding the life-cycle of the pepper fruit is critical for knowing when to harvest and how to use your specific pepper variety.

Garden to Table: Eggplant

Eggplant produces very well and over a long period.

How to Refinish a Dining Room Table

Easily refinish a dated or worn dining room table to give it a fresh look.

Garden to Table: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts offer the taste of a cabbage’s sweet, blanched heart in every singular blossom bite.

How to Make a Vertical Garden With PVC Pipe

Plant a small-space vertical garden using PVC pipe.

How to Refinish a Kitchen Table

Give an old kitchen table new life in a weekend with these simple steps for refinishing wood furniture.

How to Kill Weeds (Without Hurting Your Garden)

There are several good reasons to keep your garden clear of weeds. They not only compete with flowers for light, nutrients and water but some also harbor diseases, which may spread to surrounding plants.