Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa

To finish up the series of summer salsas, here is a tangy and slightly sweet tomato salsa that is just as easy to make as salsa verde: you roast everything and then blend it to death.  Peter wishes it had more smoky flavor, but I’m glad it didn’t.

Just when I thought I was cut-off from canning until holiday gift-giving, my grandma sent me 12 half-pint jars.  Thank you grandma!  Perusing Canning for a New Generation and Food in Jars, I’ve narrowed the future contents of these jars down to:

  1. Strawberry jam with Thai herbs
  2. Sweet red pepper relish
  3. Spiced apple butter
  4. Pear and ginger preserves
  5. Concord grape jam
  6. Peach-plum ginger jam
  7. Sweet-spicy cucumber pepper relish
  8. Pear ginger ginger jam
  9. Peppered balsamic fig jam
  10. Sriracha sauce

Clearly I have to decide between these 10(!) recipes eventually, but as the weekend is still a little ways away, I don’t have to commit just yet.  If you must know, my preference is slightly wavered towards Sriracha sauce (the amazing spicy chile condiment), pear and ginger preserves (I’ve promised myself that only one pear recipe this year is sufficient), and either sweet-spicy cucumber pepper relish (if I have enough cucumbers from the garden) or concord grape jam (if I happen upon concord grapes in a moment of weakness).

Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa (from Canning for a New Generation)
(Makes 5 pints of salsa)
5 pounds tomatoes
10 jalapeno peppers, preferably red (8 ounces)
12 cloves garlic (2 ounces)
3 small onions (1 pound 6 ounces)
1/2 cup cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

To make the salsa:   Prepare the tomatoes by cutting out the stems and cutting the tomatoes in half.  Prepare the jalapenos by cutting off the stems and cutting the jalapenos in half length-wise.  Peel the garlic cloves and cut the onions into quarters.  Set the broiler to “high” and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place the tomatoes cut side down on the baking tray and broil for about 10 minutes, until the skins are blackened in patches.  Move the tomatoes to a heat-proof bowl.  Then broil the other veggies (jalapenos, onions, garlic) until black in places.  When the other veggies are done, put them in a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients.  Now comes the only annoying part: when the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, keeping only the blackened parts of the skins (this adds flavor).  Combine all the other ingredients in the pot (tomatoes, black bits of tomato skins, vinegar, salt, and sugar) and mix.  If you have an immersion blender, use it to blend the salsa in the pot.  Otherwise, use a conventional blender or food processor to blend the salsa.  Whatever the blending method, return the salsa to the pot and bring it to a boil for 5 minutes.  The salsa is now ready to be canned!

To can the salsa: Follow the detailed instructions for canning in the recipe for dilly beans, with the following specifications.  Fill the sterilized pint jars with salsa leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.  Process the jars in a hot water bath for 40 minutes.

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