One of my family’s goals of this year’s garden was to grow and preserve all of our red sauces. You can read our post on how we planned this here. We are nearing the end of our season and have hundreds of jars of food stored up. We are finishing the season with a quick and easy salsa recipe from Ball. You can see their full recipe for their Zesty Salsa here.
If you are interested in learning to can or want to expand your gardening and preserving, I researched and picked my favorite products and put them in affiliate links below. I highly recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving at FreshPreserving.com. It will teach you everything you need to know about canning safely. I use it all the time. The 200 page book contains over 500 recipes for canning, pickling, dehydrating, freezing and more. It’s also a great resource and a good place to buy equipment. Just beginning? I suggest getting this starter kit: Ball Fresh Preserving Kit at FreshPreserving.com. Our meals taste like summer all year long.
I’ll be honest for a minute. The absolute best salsa comes strait out of your garden during the summer. But if you live in the north, your garden is only producing for 2-3 months and this is just impossible. Thus the need for preserving your garden and enjoying the fresh food year round. This is the second year in a row that we decided to make Zesty Salsa and we love it.
The last batch of tomatoes we pulled from the garden was 28 pounds. When you preserve like we have, you quickly learn to adjust recipes for the quantity of tomatoes you pick so you don’t waste any of your garden.
Start by reviewing the recipe and preparing your ingredients. Then sanitize and prepare all of your equipment and cans. We chopped our tomatoes and other vegetables and put them in two large stock pots.
The recipe calls for bringing them to a boil for about 10 minutes stirring constantly. Then pack your prepared jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Stir to remove bubbles, wipe the rims, center the lid and adjust band to finger tip tight.
I have an electric ph meter I use for checking the ph. We are always looking for a reading lower than 4.6. I tested this batch and it came to a 3.7. The recipe doesn’t call for it to be tested, but I have one, and I figured it didn’t hurt to just take a quick look.
After the hot water bath, we ended up with 20 pints of salsa.
Here are our thoughts on this salsa: While it does not compare to fresh out-of-the-garden shopped salsa, no canned or purchased salsa could. This recipe is as close to fresh out of the garden as we have ever been able to produce. The heat from the peppers as per the instructions is mild to slightly hot. Although it would depend a lot on how spicy your peppers were and you could adjust this a little as well. We tried a can from last year just to compare it to our new batch and it still was very fresh tasting. We’re looking forward to a winter of enjoying our summer garden’s produce.