A couple readers asked me to share my salsa recipe. My recipe is a rather fluid thing, so I hope this is not too terribly vague for you.
I start with a heap of tomatoes, chopped into about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch pieces. You can skin them if you want, but I don’t. I chop till I have about 12 cups of tomatoes. Then I finely chop about 2 onions and 2 green (sweet) peppers. I run 4 cloves of garlic through the garlic press.
Then I do the hot peppers. This is the really unscientific part, I’m afraid. My husband grows a medley of hot peppers (Anaheims, haberneros, chilis, Jalapenos) –ranging from ‘need-a-drink-soon’ hot to ‘is-the-skin-peeling-off-my-tongue?’ hot. I usually nibble tiny bits of several different varieties of peppers to get an idea of the heat of each. Then I do about half super hot and half of the mellower varieties. We enjoy very spicy food.
To avoid the dreaded hot-pepper fingers I simply core the peppers and puree them in the food processer. (A whiff of the resulting puree will make you cough.) Usually I puree enough hot peppers to make about a cup of puree. I mix all the ingredients together and add 2 cups of lemon juice and some salt and pepper to taste.
Salsa will always be hotter fresh than it will after it goes through the canning process, so keep that in mind when you’re trying to decide if you need more peppers to kick up the heat or more tomatoes to make it more mild.
Once all ingredients are combined, I heat the salsa in a big pot on the stove until it is simmering, and then I pack it into hot, clean pint or half pint jars and do a boiling water bath.
Because of the peppers and onions, salsa is lower-acid than other tomato-based things, which means it needs a longer processing time than just tomatoes canned alone. I process pint jars in vigorously boiling water for 45 minutes. This may be massive over-kill, but I prefer to be on the safe side. You can also pressure-can salsa if you prefer. Read the instructions from your pressure-canner to figure times. If you’d rather totally avoid canning, you could freeze it at this point instead of canning it. You’ll probably want to use small plastic containers instead of glass jars, however.
If you have never canned food and would like more detailed information about safely canning tomatos, check out this UC Davis website. It even includes another salsa recipe you can try. Canning is not hard, but you should read about it so you can do it safely.