Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to Make Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa
When your garden overflows with tomatoes one of the things you can make is salsa.  Yes, it is easy to make fresh salsa with your garden tomatoes.  Did you grow onions, cilantro and jalapenos?  Even better.  That means you have most of what you need on hand and you are ready to go.

I had about eight pounds of tomatoes I had picked from my garden and there is no way we would be able to eat eight pounds of tomatoes in the next few days unless I got creative. 

The first step is to blanch and skin the tomatoes.  That sounds like a lot of work doesn't it?  Well, it really isn't all that much work.  If you have helpers it can be fun.  Yes, you'll be getting your hands in a little bit of a mess, but it goes quickly and is worth the effort.

To blanch the tomatoes fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.  I used about 12 medium tomatoes, approximately 6 pounds.  That gave me 8 cups of salsa.  Use your judgement as to how many tomatoes you will need based on that. While the water is heating up prepare an ice bath for the tomatoes close by the stove.   Once the water comes to a boil put 3 or 4 of the tomatoes into the boiling water. 
Blanch the Tomatoes to Help with Skin Removal
Watch them and you'll see the skin start to crack and pull away from the tomato. It will take about 30 seconds.   Once that happens, remove the tomato from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately submerge it in the ice bath.  Keep going with this process until all the tomatoes have been in both the boiling water and the ice bath.

Cool the Tomatoes in an Ice Bath
You'll see that the skin is now falling off the tomatoes.  The next step is to remove the skin completely and core the tomatoes.  I do this over a large colander with a bowl next to me for the skin and core that will be discarded. 

Peel and Core the Tomatoes

 Once you remove the core give the tomato a gentle squeeze to release most of the seed and some of the juice.  I do that over the sink, but a bowl works just as well.  You are going to discard the seeds and the juice.

Squeeze to Release the Seeds and Some of the Juice

There you have it.  Once you're done you'll have a bowl of skinned and seeded tomatoes.

Now you are ready to make your salsa.

Salsa Ingredients
Fresh Tomato Salsa
  • 6 pounds fresh tomatoes, skinned and seeded
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • 2  fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine
  • 3/4  medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped  
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar 

Puree three quarters of your tomatoes in a blender with the chopped garlic and jalapeno peppers.  Chop the rest of the tomatoes into chunks as finely as you like.  I like a little texture in my salsa.  To make the salsa, just dump all of the ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Go ahead and taste it to be sure it has the level of spice and heat you like. You can add more of whatever you like.

The Finished Salsa

I like to store my salsa in canning jars in the refrigerator, but remember that you haven't processed this salsa so you'll need to eat it all in the next few days.  There's plenty here to share so it's a great excuse to invite a few friends over.

Fresh Tomato Salsa Ready to Eat
Time to break out the chips.  You can get the printable Fresh Tomato Salsa recipe by clicking the link.


1 comment:

  1. MMM, yum. Salsa is one of my favorites, but I don't make it myself. I definitely should start.


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