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May 17, 2006

Organic Cilantro-Lime Salsa

With the goodies from our organic co-op last week, I made Cilantro-Lime Salsa. Four small jars are gifts for the boys' school teachers. I haven't done any canning since returning from Ukraine, so I did note for the teachers to store it in the fridge rather than on the shelf.

This is my standard recipe for Salsa for canning. There is a temptation to use more peppers/onions, but to keep it safe the ratio acidic:non-acidic ingredients needs to stay consistent with this recipe. The batch I did this week was much smaller than the recipe, but maintained the proportions.

Salsa for Canning

5 lb tomatoes
1 lb green peppers
1/3 lb jalapenos
1 lb onions
1 cup vinegar, 5% acidity
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

If you want chunky salsa, take the time to cut the ingredients into uniform sizes. This can be time consuming, but rewarding. After I discovered the ease of using the blender, I've opted for less-chunky salsa.

Whir tomatoes and other ingredients in a blender. Tomatoes can simply be halved. Onions and bell peppers quartersed. Clean all seeds from peppers (you may want to use gloves.) Keep the vinegar aside and add to blender as necessary to help as it chops the veggies.

Roma or paste tomatoes work better than large, wet-juicy sandwich tomatoes. Vine or hothouse ripened have a better flavor than gas ripened. Go for the freshest, bestest ingredients when canning!

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Personally, I like how salsa tastes after it's simmered for at least and hour. But if you like the "fresher" taste, 10 minutes is sufficient.

Follow standard canning instructions for sterilizing jars. Fill jars--pints are good for gift giving. Larger bottles are better when you live in Ukraine and are stocking up on salsa for the year. Leave a 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process for 20 minutes in a waterbath canner.

When canning salsa, be sure to keep the vinegar/tomato/other veggie proportions accurate, for safety.

Today's variation included:
Organic fresh cilantro, one bunch
Organic jalepeno peppers, only 3
Organic limes, 2 peeled and blended
Vine-ripe, local-grown roma tomatoes

Update: I'm a tad disappointed in this batch. I think I should have added just a squeeze of lime juice near the end of cooking, and maybe used less cilantro. . .


Posted by TulipGirl  |  11:05 PM|  TrackBack (0)  |   Words

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feeling slightly ignorant ce soir..
have never heard of cilantro ;o)
but wondering if a jar of your fabulous salsa would courier well to the bottom of the globe??
bon appetit!!!

Posted by: kate5kiwis at May 18, 2006 01:48 AM

d'oh i should've googled cilantro BEFORE posting.. so blonde..
(we call it "coriander" and i absolutely adore it)
we chop it fresh onto our chicken curries.. or put it in salads.

Posted by: kate5kiwis at May 18, 2006 02:06 AM

You may know it under a different name. My understanding is that cilantro is the fresh, green leaves of the plant that give the spice coriander seeds.

See pics of cilantro.

Read more on cilantro.

Posted by: TulipGirl at May 18, 2006 02:28 AM

*L* We were posting at the same time!

Posted by: TulipGirl at May 18, 2006 02:31 AM

TG, Why is it important to keep that ratio? What happens if that balance is off?


Posted by: chewymom at May 18, 2006 07:05 AM

I get my first box from our sustainable growers CSA in Northern Virginia today. YEAH!! Mine will be salad, root veggies, beans, and snap peas. No salsa, but I plan on an excellent stir fry. I am definitely saving this recipe for later this summer.

Cilantro in canning is always tricky. I often leave it out, then add it after I open the jar. It is one of the very few herbs that ships well, so you can usually find it in the store year round. Grows like a weed in the Florida winter too. . .

Posted by: Amy at May 18, 2006 09:48 AM

YUM! That looks so good. I am such a cilantro addict

I've never canned though, so I guess I'd just have to eat it fresh. The only canned thing I've ever made is cookie and cake mixes in a jar =P

Posted by: Amanda at May 18, 2006 08:59 PM

Yum! My mouth is watering! Homemade salsa is higher on my list of divine foods than even chocolate! When it has lots of cilantro it is THE BEST THING EVER!!! How thoughtful to do that for your sons' teachers.

Posted by: Kathy at May 19, 2006 04:33 PM

The vinegar/tomatoes provide enough acid to keep the salsa safe when canned and stored on a shelf rather than refrigerated. Simliarly, vinegar and salt are preservatives when making homemade pickles, and sugar is for jams.

Posted by: TulipGirl at May 20, 2006 04:49 PM

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