Sunday, November 14, 2010

Canning Tomatillo Salsa

I've been trying to get the last of the garden harvest out of the guest room before family get here for Thanksgiving. I can't believe it's only a little over a week away! I still have tomatoes covering one table - most of them are finally getting red enough to process, so a big batch of tomato sauce is on the agenda for sometime this week. I went through what onions I was able to harvest, separating out the ones that didn't bulb up and the ones with thick necks (because they won't last in storage), and am using those up first.

The project for today was processing the last of the tomatillos, along with homegrown onions, garlic, and chiles (processed and frozen earlier this season), into green salsa. Over time, and through experimentation, I've learned what things will hold without refrigeration or processing until I can get around to doing something with them for longer storage. Tomatillos are one of the best for that - picked when fruit is full-sized and the husks still green, and just piled in a bowl, they'll easily hold for a couple of months on the counter or in the pantry.

I'd already canned 9 pints, a full canner load, of plain tomatillos earlier this summer. And a long, mellow fall allowed me to get a second flush of chiles. My tomatoes didn't do very well this year, so what ones I have are destined for tomato sauce and jars of whole tomatoes; no tomato salsa this year. I still have two jars of roasted tomato salsa from last year, a few more of peach salsa, plus some of last year's hot sauces, but we really like salsa for everything from chip dip to tacos to spicing up everyday meals. So I started looking for a tomatillo salsa recipe.

I thought I'd try this one, from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, one of my go-to reference sites for canning info. Since I now use my own blog as recipe storage (after losing some online recipes, I just had bookmarked, when the sites disappeared), I'm re-posting a quick version here. Go to the original site if you're new to canning and you need more instructions.

Tomatillo Salsa (about 5 pints)

5 cups chopped tomatillos
4 cups chopped onions
1½ cups chopped chiles - roasted, peeled and seeded
½ cup minced jalapenos - seeds and ribs removed
1 cup lemon or lime juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon canning salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Simmer 20 minutes; ½" headspace; 20 minutes boiling water bath (for my 5,000 ft altitude)

I had enough tomatillos to make a double batch, ending up with 8½ pints. Since I don't have a food processor, I just hand-chopped everything. I'm thinking maybe next time, I'll try running the tomatillos and onions though my old food grinder instead.

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