Sep 25, 2008 Very good! I was worried about the whole lemon but you did not taste any of the white bitter part of it. Our tomatoes were on the sweet side so our salsa had a sweet/warm taste to it. We’ll be making this one again. Made for *Zaar Cookbooks Tag 2008* game. *Update* I made this again today. This time I did not cut the ends of the lemon off up to the inside of the fruit, and I did not chop the lemon up as fine as the first time, both a mistake. So cut the pith off both ends and then grind/chop the rest of the lemon up fine.
Use a paring knife to core a tomato: Insert tip next to stem, and then make a shallow cut all around; remove stem. To seed a tomato, cut in half lengthwise. Holding cut side down, gently squeeze to remove most of the seeds. Slicing a tomato is best done with a serrated or very sharp-bladed knife.
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Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Use your jar lifter to remove warm jars from canner, drain, and line up on the towel. Use your canning ladle and funnel and add the salsa to the warm jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the rims. Use your magnetic lid lifter to lift lids out of the warm water, center lid on the jar, and screw on band until it is fingertip tight.
COMBINE tomatoes, green peppers, onions, chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, salt and hot pepper sauce, if using, in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes until it has taken on a deep red color and has more body. Looks good, doesn’t it? The tomatoes need to be very ripe for the sauce to take on the deep red color in the photos.
Warning: Salsa is proven to be addictive, and once you’ve had fresh, its hard to go back to that stuff they sell in the grocery store. Seriously though, use caution when you are handling the peppers, especially the hotter varieties, as the heat stays on your fingers, and could irritate your eyes or nose or other sensitive areas that you might inadvertently scratch for the next few hours after you are done in the kitchen.
For many years I had in-laws from Mexico – great cooks – and also a live-in housekeeper from there. The latter also cooked for us. Salsa fresca aka pico de gallo is intended to be just that. Fresh. It is not intended to be hot. The chiles add a little pop, but are not supposed to prevail. Think of it as a piquant fresh vegetable chutney.
Drop 4 or 5 tomatoes at a time into the boiling water. Wait 2 minutes then remove from water using a slotted spoon. Slip the skins off (set them aside to make tomato powder), place tomatoes in a colander, and repeat until all tomatoes have been skinned. Discard water.
Paste tomatoes, such as Roma, San Marzano, and Amish Paste, have a firm flesh and will produce a nice thick salsa. Slicing tomatoes can also be used, but they are more watery. Both paste and slicing tomatoes are safe to use for making salsa, but I recommend using paste tomatoes for a denser salsa.
The fantastic thing about a good basic salsa recipe is it’s easy and you can adjust it to your liking! You may also want to whip up a batch of Salsa From the Back of the Envelope and can that too! We eat super nachos all the time with our homemade salsas. Yummy stuff!
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