Canned (Bottled) Salsa

Total Time
4 hrs
1 hr

Most recipes for canning salsa call for vinegar, which I do not like at all. It makes the salsa taste more like a pickle and less like a fresh salsa. I developed this recipe to conform to the requirements of safe canning practices while still tasting as much like fresh salsa as possible. Salting and straining the tomatoes prevents the salsa from being too "soupy" without requiring a long cooking time to reduce the liquid. You should buy 10 limes; you probably won't need them all but they do vary in juiciness quite a bit. NOTE: Jalapenos vary wildly in strength - the ones I get are fairly mild. If yours are very hot, or if you are looking for a milder salsa, you should feel free to reduce them accordingly.

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  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them into the boiling water for one minute. You will need to do them in batches.
  3. Transfer them to a large bowl or sink full of cold water.
  4. Fish them out and peel them.
  5. Chop them coarsely and sprinkle with pickling salt in layers as you go - I try to use about 4 tablespoons.
  6. Put them in a strainer and set in a cool place (but NOT the fridge!) to drain for several hours.
  7. When you are ready to procede, put all the canning jars in a large canner full of water to cover by one inch, and bring to a boil.
  8. Boil for 10 minutes.
  9. If your water is very hard, add a shot of vinegar to the water before it boils (to prevent lime build-up on bottles).
  10. Meanwhile, peel and chop the onions.
  11. Peel and deseed the peppers, and chop them.
  12. Peel and mince the garlic.
  13. Mix the tomato paste with cupful of the tomatoes until it is lump-free.
  14. Mix all the ingredients except the lime juice in a large kettle or pot.
  15. Bring the salsa to a boil.
  16. Lift the sterilized jars from the boiling water bath and empty them.
  17. (Most should be emptied into the sink, so the boiling water bath doesn't overflow when they go back in).
  18. Add 3 tbsps lime juice to each jar.
  19. Pack the salsa into the jars.
  20. Wipe rims, and seal according to manufacturer's instructions.
  21. (Generally, boil lids and rings for 5 minutes).
  22. Return the bottles to the boiling water bath and process them for 20 minutes. It may be necessary to do this in two batches; put as many in the canner as you are able to; when they come out add the next batch of jars to be sterilized while you fill the first set. Take them out and fill them as the first set of filled jars is being processed.
  23. Remove, allow to cool, and check seals.