Farmers Market Notes:
Professional football season starts this weekend (Vikings opener Sunday, Sept. 8 at noon)! Impress everyone hanging out around the TV with a fresh veggie tray, pickles, or homemade salsa for the more adventurous chef. Early September is still the best time of year to shop for fresh vegetables, and chips & salsa is an easy snack to prepare in large quantities. We like to get together with friends and family and can enough salsa to last all winter!
Remember: when you’re making salsa to can, you need a certain amount of acidity to ensure that the food will remain safe to eat, according to the University of Minnesota Extension! Don’t use less tomatoes or lemon juice than a recipe calls for, only follow tested recipes, and make sure you use fresh, safe produce! If you ever want to thicken canned salsa, use tomato paste – not flour or cornstarch.
September 7 Events
KIDS’ DAY AT MARKET featuring People’s Food Co-Op with free fruit & veggie tokens (worth $2 each), Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester activities, Olmsted County 4-H, and more!
Recipe: Salsa - fresh, frozen, and canned
Start with this basic recipe from the National Center for Home Food Preservation:
6 cups peeled, cored, seeded and chopped ripe tomatoes
9 cups diced onions and/or peppers of any variety (like sweet bell peppers or hot peppers for added spice)
1 and ½ cups commercially bottled lemon or lime juice (do not substitute vinegar or bottled key lime juice when canning this recipe)
3 teaspoons canning or pickling salt
Yield: About 6 pint jars
Wash and rinse pint or half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to fill. Prepare lids and ring bands according to manufacturer’s directions.
To prepare tomatoes: Dip washed tomatoes in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins split. Submerge immediately in cold water. Peel off loosened skins and remove cores. Remove seeds and chop.
To prepare onions: Peel, wash, core and dice onions.
To prepare bell peppers: Wash and core bell peppers. Remove the seeds and membranes before dicing.
To prepare hot peppers: Wash and remove stems of hot peppers. Keep or remove as much of the seeds and membranes as you wish, depending on the ‘pepper heat’ of the salsa that you desire. Dice.
Combine prepared ingredients in a large pot; add lemon juice and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring. Reduce heat and simmer salsa for an additional 3 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent scorching.
Transfer the hot salsa into prepared hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. If needed, remove air bubbles and re-adjust headspace to ½-inch. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and bands.
Process in a boiling water canner. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.