Thursday, October 11, 2012

Canned Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

We had our first frosty nights last weekend, but knew about it ahead of time and picked all of our tomatoes, both red and green.

Many of the larger green ones are being ripened in the basement (more on that later), but there were still many small green tomatoes to deal with.  I decided to make green tomato salsa with them.

I scoured the internet for green tomato and/or tomatillo recipes suitable for canning, then true to my style, I tweaked a couple of them to come up with my own.  Because I only tweaked spices a bit, and used fewer bell peppers and onions instead of more, but left the vinegar and lemon or lime juice amounts the same (and added some citric acid for good measure) I'm confident this recipe is still safe for water bath canning.  But here's my disclaimer.  If you are uncomfortable with this recipe for any reason, don't make it.  Use one from the Ball Blue Book or your local university extension office.

Anyway, back to the recipe.  This stuff's good.  It's tart, tangy, fresh-tasting and not very hot.  Hot can be good, but sometimes I just want the flavor without the heat.  If you want more heat, you can add more jalapenos or some cayenne pepper to the mix.

Annie's Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

6 to 8 pounds of green tomatoes, stemmed and cut into large chunks
drizzle of olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
2 large onions, diced
1 4-ounce can diced mild green chiles (or the equivalent fresh)
8 slices of pickled jalapeno (or use fresh - to your own taste)
1 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken base or chicken bouillon (optional, but it does add to the flavor)
2 Tablespoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon citric acid (to increase acidity)

Heat oven to 325°F.  Prepare jars for canning following the directions in the Ball Blue Book or from your local university extension office.

Brush a large baking pan with sides (like a steam table pan or a roaster) with a drizzle of olive oil.  Place tomato chunks in pan.  Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.  Place pan in oven and roast for 60-90 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare water bath canner for use per manufacturer's directions.

Remove tomatoes from oven and spoon tomatoes and any liquid into a large stock pot.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Mixture will probably still be chunky, so blend to desired consistency using a handheld immersion blender or by blending in batches in a blender or food processor.  Continue to simmer while assembling jars, lids and rings for canning.

Fill hot pint jars with hot salsa mixture, leaving 1/2-inch head space.  Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth, adjust two piece lids and rings, and place in canner of rapidly boiling water.  Once water returns to a full boil, process for 20 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and place on a folded kitchen towel in a draft-free area of your kitchen.  Listen for jars to seal.  Store any jars that fail to seal in the refrigerator for immediate use.

Makes 7 to 8 pints. 
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