The closest I’d gotten to making salsa before this was chopping up tomatoes with lime juice, cilantro, and onion… and maybe an avocado or two in there for good measure. But as I have always loved fruit salsas, I thought I would give this a try. The final product is slightly sweet, salty, tangy, spicy, and colorful. It may have taken a while to prep the ingredients and to peel the peaches, but it was so worth it. When Peter finally tried the left-over salsa from canning, his only word was “WOW!” He’s also made me promise not to give any of it away for any reason, which is probably the biggest compliment of all.
Peach Cilantro Salsa (adapted from Canning for a New Generation)
(Makes about 5 pints jars of salsa)
5 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced*
1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons serrano chiles, minced
4-6 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
To make the salsa: In a large pot, combine all ingredients except the cilantro. Bring the ingredients to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the peaches should be soft and easily squashed against the side of the pot. Add the cilantro.
To can the salsa: See the detailed instructions for canning dilly beans. Make sure to use new flat lids and leave 1/4 inch of headspace at the top of each pint jar when filling it with salsa. Since the salsa is sticky, make sure to wipe the top of the pint jars with a clean cloth so that the lids make good seals. Process the filled pint jars of salsa for 10 minutes in a boiling hot water bath.
*To peel the peaches easily, drop them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds and then plunge them in an ice water bath and rub off the skin with your fingers. If this doesn’t work (some peaches are just difficult), use a paring knife. It is also infinitely easier if the peach pits are easily torn from the peach flesh, so buy freestone peaches.