Fresh and incredibly delicious, this restaurant-style salsa recipe is all you need to use and preserve those tomatoes!
10-12 canning jars (16 ounce) with lids and bands
(3) 9x12 baking sheets full of tomatoes (approximately 80-100 tomatoes)
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 cups sweet onion (1 large onion)
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup lime juice, pure bottled
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
First, roast the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. After you wash all of the tomatoes, add them to a baking sheet (you will need to fill 3 large baking sheets with tomatoes). Roast the tomatoes until the skins are wrinkly and start to char, about 25 minutes. Note: a lot of water will be released from the tomatoes when roasting. Very carefully remove the trays from the oven and discard some of the water half way through roasting to avoid it spilling over and burning in your oven. After they are roasted, you'll want to let them cool a bit before peeling or you'll burn your fingers.
Next, preheat the jars. For this step, you want to place the jars in a large pot of simmering water (not boiling) to help sanitize them and keep them from breaking when adding the hot salsa. Simply insert each jar into the simmering water and let them sit in there until you're ready to fill them. Tip: to keep them from floating you'll need to fill them with some of the water until they sink. You may have to add a bit more water to the pot after doing so.
Now prepare the salsa. After you dice and chop the cilantro, jalapeño pepper, onion and garlic, you'll add everything to a large pot, including the peeled, whole tomatoes, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Stir everything together, cover and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
Fill the jars with salsa. After the salsa simmers for about 30 minutes and everything is fragrant and well incorporated you'll start filling the jars! Carefully remove the empty jars from the pot of water with the jar lifting tongs and set on your counter. Fill each jar with the salsa leaving 1/2 inch of space between the top of the jar and the salsa. In other words, don't fill it all the way to the top. Remove air bubbles by gently tapping the bottom of each jar after it's filled on the flat surface a few times to remove the air bubbles. This helps to remove any trapped air and keep the salsa from spoiling. Wipe any salsa from the rim of the jar, then top with the lid and apply the band until it's tight, but not TOO tight. Fingertip tight is adequate
Place the jars in the pot of water and bring it to a boil. Gently lower the jars in the water with the tongs, being sure to have the water cover the jars by 1-2 inches. If there's too much water, just carefully pour some of it out. I could fit 4 jars in my 8 quart pot at one time. Boil for 20 minutes and then remove it with the tongs and place on a kitchen towel. Repeat this process until all of the jars are complete.
Once you remove the jars from the water and have them sitting on a flat surface, let the jars rest untouched for 12-24 hours. You'll notice the lids making a popping/ping sound, this is good news! One of the signs the jars sealed correctly. Try to take note of which jars pop/ping.
Head to HealthyLittleVittles.com to read more about how to properly test the jars to make sure they are sealed correctly and for storing instructions.
Gina Fontana, is the recipe developer, photographer, and certified health coach behind the popular blog Healthy Little Vittles, where she shares delicious plant-based, gluten-free recipes. In 2013, after a lifelong search for answers to her unexplained health ailments, Gina was diagnosed with thyroid disease. Switching to a gluten-free, plant-based diet transformed her life, prompting Gina to share her journey with others. Through her story, recipes and creative photography, Gina’s mission is to inspire people to pursue a healthier lifestyle and nourish our bodies with whole, plant-based foods. She is the published author of the books Moon Milk and The Beginner's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Baking. She lives in Columbus, OH with her husband, 5 year old son, 3 year old daughter, and two fur babies.
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