Salsa made with homegrown herbs and veggies is an explosion of flavor that will change your life. I love adding a bit to scrambled or fried eggs, topping beans and rice with it, or scooping it up with my favorite tortilla chip. Preserving my salsa means easy fall/winter meals of chili – just add a jar to ground meat and beans for instant fresh flavor.

Everyone’s salsa recipe is a bit different. My core recipe includes tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and cilantro. It’s easy enough to adjust for different tastes – just omit cilantro if you don’t like it, or make a batch without peppers if you don’t have any! The Cuisinart makes quick work of chopping, but hand chopping works fine too.

I start with a bulb of garlic – you need quite a bit to come through with all the other veg. Remove the papery skins and chop to desired fineness. Rinse the cilantro and chop it next. Mix these two ingredients with a smidge of salt in a large bowl, set aside. Doing the herbs first means you pick up the residual flavors as you chop the veg.

Onions are next – I prefer a blend of red and yellow onions and start with about 4 cups. Remove the skins and chop, add to the large bowl and stir. Peppers I just use whatever I have on hand – this batch used Emerald Green, Etuida, and Yellow Monsters. Core and seed, chop into large chunks, and blitz. Add to the large bowl and stir.

I start with a minimum of 8 cups tomatoes. I use whatever varieties are on hand, and I like the flavor profile that comes from the different acidities, cell walls, and seediness. This batch used Roma, Arkansas Traveler, Chocolate Pear, Celebrity, and Jet Star tomatoes. After a quick rinse they get chopped into rough chunks and whizzed in the Cuisinart. Small batching this process means I can control the juiciness/chunkiness of my salsa – I like a balance of chunk to juice.

Taste the finished product and adjust if needed – add more tomatoes, a touch of salt, a few more peppers, whatever. The goal is to make what you like!

Preserving salsa is a snap. Fill sterilized jars, leave appropriate head space, and process in hot water bath for the appropriate time (15-20 minutes is my go to).

In less that an hour I had made 4 pints of salsa to save, 4 cups of salsa for meals, and had two huge bowls of veg/herb scraps for my hens. A great day’s work!

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