Clare Buchanan's Tomato salsa





This is a versatile, delicious salsa that can be added to as you see fit, depending on the ratio of tomatoes, peppers and chilis you have on hand. The key is to taste regularly and add heat - as you can't subtract!

Ingredients

2 kgs tomatoes
5 peppers - a mix of any variety and more / less
3 Jalapeños chilies - fresh (if mild - do less if yours are hot)
2 fresh habañero chilis (add 1 and then more if you want it hotter)
1 1/2 C chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C Apple cider vinegar
1/2 loosely packed fresh coriander (including stems)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt - to taste
1-2 tsp sugar - to taste

Method

Have a collection of glass jars (6-7 medium size) clean and ready to go in the oven to be sterilised.

Core the tomatoes and then remove the skin - easiest to do this by blanching them for a minute or two in boiling water. Drain, then when they are cool, slip the skins off. Or you can grill or broil them (which results in a slightly more intense flavour).
Halve and squeeze the bulk of the seeds out. then chop roughly. You should end up with about 7 cups of tomatoes.

Roast, grill or bbq peppers then put in a paper bag to sweat. When they have cooled, slip the skins off, remove stem and as many seeds as you can. Chop roughly.

Chop onions (in the blender if you have one).

Mince garlic.

Carefully chop habaneros (you might want to wear gloves for these).

Put all the above in a large stainless steel pot, adding the remainder of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.

At this stage you also have your oven hot, sterilising your jars. Pour boiling water on lids. Start to heat a large canning pot with water.

Taste regularly! Add more vinegar if too sweet, or more sugar if too acidic. Add the coriander at the end. If you want your salsa smooth, you can use a stick blender at this stage.

Ladle salsa into hot, sterilised canning jars leaving 2c, headspace. Wipe the rims with some paper towel. Place canning lids on the jars, and screw on the lids. Don't over tighten, or you might not get a good seal. Air needs to escape in the next step.

Place filled and lidded jars into the pot when it's at a boil. Make sure the jars are covered with at least 4cm water. Process for at least 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let jars sit in the water another 5 mins. Remove jars from the water bath and let them sit on the kitchen counter a couple of hours until cool. The lids should 'pop' as the cooling salsa creates a vacuum under the lid. Tighten screws.

For more basics on canning refer to this site http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/canning.aspx
Or there are plenty of resources online including youtube tutorials