Canning – a relaxing escape that gives me peace, enjoyment, and a feeling of accomplishment. Whether it’s Red Wine Fig Jam, or Hot Pepper Jelly, you’ll find me preserving something!
Canning may seem intimidating, but honestly, it just takes one or two times to get the hang of it. There’s no better time than now to embark on your first experience. Grab your favorite summer produce, find a canning recipe that appeals to you, and preserve the harvest one jar at a time like I did with this Fiery Roasted Salsa.
We’ve been blessed with a great tomato harvest this year in Minnesota. The vendors at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Marketare hauling them in by the bushel, waiting a person like me, who’s eyes are obviously bigger than their stomachs as they carry away 15 pounds of the bright red beauties.
The first time I made homemade salsa about 3 years ago, I wasn’t wowed. I used a recipe from the Ball Canning Book and although the flavor was okay, it didn’t have the punchy, zest I craved. Additionally, the texture just wasn’t my favorite.
The perfect salsa to me: restaurant style that’s smooth but not runny, bold heat, and a background roasted, toasted flavor. I reached out to a friend, the preservation queen herself, One Tomato Two Tomato, had just the recipe that matched my requirements.
Tomatoes, chiles, and peppers are broiled until their skin is black which brings out their inherent sweetness and a dose of smokiness.
To put my own spin on her Salsa de Chile recipe, I adapted the dry spices used and threw in a twist – espresso powder.
(When adapting certified and tested canned tomato recipes, it’s very important to only adjust spices/herbs for safety because of their finicky ph/acid levels. Read more about that here.)
The idea sparked from thoughts of mole sauce and really great chili, which all use a bit of chocolate to deepen their flavor, but for safety reasons I didn’t want to add chocolate.
And what gives an additional layer of flavor to chocolate?Espresso powder. I couldn’t resist using it in this canned salsa. And it worked beautifully. It brings out the flavors of the ingredients and they sing in harmony. Of course it’s optional, but I really think it makes this salsa unique.
The result – well, let’s just say chips and salsa has been my dinner for the last two nights and breakfast quesadillas have been my jam!
Turn the broiler of the oven on. Wash & dry tomatoes and peppers. Spread whole tomatoes and peppers on a sheet pan and roast them under the broiler until their skin is blistered. Flip the ingredients and roast on the other side until blistered.
Core the tomatoes if necessary and remove the stems from the peppers. Leave the seeds and skin (this gives the salsa great flavor!)! Let them cool slightly, until you are able to dice the peppers, and set aside.
Blend the roasted tomatoes, all the juices from the pan, garlic, and ½ of the diced onions, in a blender until fairly smooth. (Leaving the blistered skins on gives the salsa that great smoky flavor).
Add blended mixture, diced peppers, remaining diced onions, apple cider vinegar, cumin, chili powder, espresso powder, black pepper, salt, and cilantro to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the salsa is simmering, prepare the hot water bath and heat the pint jars and lids. Ladle hot salsa into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1/2” headspace.
Wipe rims and add the lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes at a full rolling boil. Remove jars from water and let fully cool on a kitchen towel for 24 hours before touching.