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Can with a safe tomato salsa recipe

By Staff | Aug 28, 2009

Selecting salsa recipes that have been tested and proven safe for water-bath canning are important, because salsas include a mix of high-acid and low-acid foods that normally would require pressure canning. Only with enough tomatoes and the addition of bottled lemon juice is it safe to process salsa in a boiling water bath.

“While we encourage creative cooking, creativity is not a good goal with canning recipes,” said Paulelda Gilbert, a Webster County-based nutrition and health field specialist with Iowa State University Extension. “If you want to experiment with salsa recipes, freeze the salsa instead of canning it.”

Gilbert offers this tested, proven recipe for home canning:

Tomato Salsa (using paste tomatoes)

(Yield 16 to 18 pints)

7 quarts peeled, cored, chopped paste tomatoes

4 cups seeded, chopped long green chiles

5 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped, seeded jalapeno peppers

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups bottled lemon juice

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 tablespoons ground cumin (optional)

3 tablespoons oregano leaves (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (optional)

Combine all ingredients except cumin, oregano and cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add spices and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot salsa into pint jars, leaving a half-inch headspace in the jar. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, at 0 to 1,000 feet altitude, or for 20 minutes for 1,001 to 6,000 feet of altitude.

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