Looking for something to do on this casual Saturday? Something healthy that will continue giving all winter long? Make some salsa! I made 2 batches of this recently, and it is delicious! I definitely have to control myself so that I actually have some left for winter. haha
Although I call it spicy, it just has a little kick, but it’s still fairly mild, you can increase the heat level by adding more hot pepper or cayenne, if you wish.
This is a small batch, to make it easier, and more achievable to people than having to spend your entire day canning! But if you want to double it, go right ahead! No need for special equipment, just use one very large pot to boil the jars, a large pot to cook the salsa, tongs to move the jars in and out of the boiling water (see pictures below), a ladle to fill in the jars with the delicious hot salsa, and of course 6-7 mason jars (250 ml). If you’re slow like me (I think it’s free therapy), it should only take you an hour and a half from start to finish.
Spicy pear-maple salsa (makes 6-7 x 250 ml jars)
- 2 cups organic onion, diced
- 6 cloves organic garlic, minced
- 5-6 lbs organic tomatoes (you want those to be fresh, local, in season), cut in small pieces and as much seeds removed as possible (just squeeze them in between your thumb and your index, it’ll come right out)
- 4-5 large organic pears (local if possible), cut in small pieces
- 1/2 organic green pepper (large), cut in small pieces
- 1 organic red pepper (or orange, or yellow), cut in small pieces
- 1-2 Tbsp minced organic hot pepper
- 1 small organic cayenne pepper, minced (be careful not to splash in your eyes! use gloves if you prefer, or wash your hands really well after)
- 1 organic lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
- 1 tsp dry organic oregano
- 1 Tbsp organic cilantro (dry or fresh)
- 1 1/2 tsp organic coriander
- 1 tsp organic cumin
- 1/2 tsp organic paprika
- 3 Tbsp raw, organic apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)
- 1 1/2 tsp unrefined grey sea salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste (I actually forgot to put mine in and it tastes great anyway)
- High quality, extra-virgin, cold pressed, organic cooking olive oil
You want to make sure everything is cut into very small cubes, and the garlic and cayenne pepper should be minced. Then you want to heat a large pot over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add a generous amount (3-4 Tbsp) of high quality olive oil, and throw in the onion, sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic for 1 minute and then add all the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add everything else, except the salt and maple syrup (peppers, spices, vinegar), stir, bring to a boil and then lower the temperature to medium-low, and cook for 10-15 minutes, uncover (it’ll be quite liquidy, so you want to reduce it to a salsa texture).
While this is cooking, put a very large pot of water to boil, with your mason jars in it (don’t add them when the water is boiling later or they might crack). Once the water is boiling, reduce the temperature just a bit so it doesn’t over flow, add the lids to the boiling water, and put the timer for 10 min (this step allows your jars/lids to be sterilized).
In the meantime, add the maple syrup and sea salt, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Now, carefully using tongs, remove each jar from the boiling water, emptying the hot water in the pot, resting on a safe surface, using the ladle, fill up each jar to the bottom of the rim (you want to leave a bit of space at the top for air). Put the lids back on and tighten as much as you can without forcing. Carefully put back into the boiling water, one at a time. If you have too much water in the pot, just remove some with an empty mason jar. Once they’re all in, put the timer for 10-12 min and wait. Once finished, remove each jar again, and put on a safe flat surface, perhaps a cooling rack with a towel underneath.
Then you wait. Within the next 10-20 minutes, you will hear a ‘pop’ coming from each jar. That’s the sound of your jar being sealed! You can go ahead and tighten the screw lids more, and wait for it to cool down completely (no need to stick around for that part). You’ll want to tighten the lids again at that point. (if you haven’t heard the ‘pop’ and the middle part of the lid seems raised up, then the seal didn’t work, so you’ll want to keep that one in the fridge and eat first.)
That’s it! You’re ready to put them away in your pantry and use later this winter! …or right away like I did. haha