Healthy Snack: Grilled Hot & Spicy Tomato Salsa
I was browsing through the farmers market the other day and taking in the bounty of it all. This is my favorite time of year when it feels as though the earth is exploding with goodness. Really, it's just telling us - at least us with four seasons - that it's time to stock up for winter is coming.
With tomatoes bursting forth, now is the time to chop them and dice them and can them for later or just eat them now.
Grilling is the perfect way for bringing out deeper characteristics in the vegetables, giving the salsa a body and complexity that's hard to find in other homemade salsas. We can ours, but it's good fresh from the pot, as well, and your friends will wonder how you got your salsa to taste to distinctive.
Grilled Hot and Spicy Tomato Salsa
5 pounds meaty tomatoes (about 7 cups)
2 large whole red onions
5-6 garden salsa peppers
1 green bell pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1 ½ cups lime juice (bottled if canning)
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup packed cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
Preheat the grill. Cut large tomatoes in half and rub skins with olive oil. Slice peppers in half and remove seeds if desired. Wear gloves to avoid getting capsaicin on your hands. Leave the seeds in for a hotter salsa. Rub peppers and onion with oil. Place the tomatoes, onions, and peppers on the grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until skins blister and char slightly.
Remove charred skins. Add tomatoes, peppers and onions to a food processor and pulse until chunky. Place in a large pot over a medium burner. Add in garlic, lime juice and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil for 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and cumin and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Can salsa in 8-ounce or pint-sized jars. Ladle salsa into sterilized jars, leaving ½" of space at the top. Wipe rims and place pretreated lids on. Process cans in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes. Remove salsa from the water bath and allow to cool on a cloth-covered surface.
Any jars that do not pop and seal properly can be stored in the fridge and eaten within a week. Sealed jars can be stored in a dark, cool place until ready to consume within 12 months.