The Salsa Basic
- 8 cups tomatoes, chopped and drained
- 2 1/2 cups onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups peppers (red, yellow, green, pimento, mixed)
- 1 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1/8 cup canning salt
- 1/4 cup local honey
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
I like me a delicious red onion. Some like a sweeter taste, so they use yellow, but you can do whatever you like. I am not going to hold it against you. And again, I like chunky salsa so I cut large pieces of onion. It is also an incredible time saver not having to be dainty with your knife.
Pimentos are my go-to salsa pepper. Why you ask? Good question. Not only are they grown and picked fresh regularly at Paynters Fruit Market in the fall, but pimentos are a special pepper. Having a thicker wall then your average Bell, the Pimento holds its shape and firmness better throughout the canning process then its cousins. Three cheers for the pimento!
Remember: WEAR GLOVES!!!!!! If you don't, you may find your hand to be significantly hotter than the rest of your body for a day. While in the winter that may be nice, it's not the most natural of feelings. Also, if you want to add more kick throw a habanero in there! BOOM! You'll get heat! Want a more mild version? Don't be afraid to only add 1/2 cup.
I love the taste of garlic; while the people around me may dismay at the amount of garlic I enjoy, I tend not to allow them to affect my culinary choices. I use Red Russian cause it packs a good punch. Yugoslavian Garlic is a good middle ground, with the Musical and Italian Garlic following with a calmer, softer side.
*Note: This recipe yields 3 quarts, 6 pints.