Like a lot of wanna-be foodies, I joined the sweet red pepper revolution in the 1990s and never looked back. Unfortunately, my CSA didn’t get the message and gives me 2 or 3 green peppers a week. They’re big, too—sometimes as much as a pound each. Sure, they’re nice on kabobs with pineapple, but what else can you do with them?
Faced with enough tomatoes to take a chance on, I decided to try a sweet pepper salsa. (I realize that this flies in the face of yesterday’s post pooh-poohing “raw” canned salsas, but since I don’t like green peppers to start with, I figured what’s to lose?) This version started with the Ball Blue Book’s “Zesty Salsa,” but I just couldn’t bring myself to use the 7 1/2 c. of peppers that they recommend. Also, since Jilly and I often find that homemade salsa has a weirdly vegetable-ish quality, I ran this through the food processor. The end result is not unlike a thick gazpacho without the cucumbers. Not bad, actually.
Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa
About 6 pounds of tomatoes, skins removed (~ 10 c.)
About 2 pounds of sweet peppers, seeds removed (~5 c.)
About 1 c. mildly hot peppers, like jalapenos or hot wax peppers, seeds removed
2 large onions, cut into large pieces
3 cloves garlic
1 c. cilantro, thick stems removed
1 T. salt
1 1/4 c. cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1) Throw all the vegetables in a food processes and whir them briefly. Don’t let them go too long or it will become a paste or puree.
2) Transfer the vegetables to a large pan and add the salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, bring a large pot filled with water to boil for a canning bath, sterilize your jars, and heat some lids (this made 5 pints for me). Pack hot salsa into hot jars. Run a spatula around the edges to remove air bubbles and add more if necessary, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Adjust lids.
4) Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath.