Tomatillos are also known as Mexican husk tomatoes. They do not need to be peeled or seeded, but the dry outer husk must be removed.
The acid ingredients used in salsa help preserve it. You must add acid to canned salsas because the natural acidity may not be high enough. Commonly used acids in home canning are vinegar and lemon juice. Lemon juice is more acidic than vinegar, but has less effect on flavor. Use only vinegar that is at least 5% acid and use only bottled lemon juice.
If you wish, you may safely substitute an equal amount of lemon juice for vinegar in recipes using vinegar. Do not substitute vinegar for lemon juice. This substitution will result in a less acid and potentially unsafe salsa.
Spices add flavoring to salsas. The amounts of spices and herbs may be altered in these recipes. Cilantro and cumin are often used in spicy salsas. You may leave them out if you prefer a salsa with a milder taste. For a stronger cilantro flavor, add fresh cilantro just before serving the salsa.
IMPORTANT: Follow the directions carefully for each recipe. Use the amounts of each vegetable listed in the recipe. Add the amount of vinegar or lemon juice listed. You may change the amount of spices, if desired. Do not can salsas that do not follow these or other research tested recipes.
(They may be frozen or stored in the refrigerator.) Do not thicken salsas with flour or cornstarch before canning. After you open a jar to use, you may pour off
some of the liquid or thicken with cornstarch.
FILLING THE JARS
Follow manufacturer's directions for preheating lids. Fill hot clean jars with the hot salsa, being careful not to leave any salsa on the rims. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp paper towel. Put on lids and screw on metal bands.
Processing in a Boiling Water Canner
1. Use a rack to keep jars from touching canner bottom and to allow heat to reach all sides of the filled jars.
2. Put jars into a canner that contains simmering water.
3. Add boiling water if needed to bring water 1-2 inches above jar tops. Don't pour water directly on the jars. Place a tight-fitting cover on canner. (If you use a pressure canner for water bath canning, leave the cover unfastened and the petcock open to prevent pressure buildup.)
4. Bring water back to a rolling boil. Set a timer for recommended processing time. Watch closely to keep water boiling gently and steadily. Add boiling water if necessary to keep jars covered.
5. Remove the jars from the canner immediately after timer sounds. The food could spoil later if jars are left in hot water too long.
Put jars on a rack or cloth so air can circulate freely around them. Don't use a fan and avoid cold drafts.
Do not retighten screw bands after processing.
Testing for Seal
Test each jar for a seal the day after canning. Jars with flat metal lids are sealed if:
1. Lid has popped down in the center.
2. Lid does not move when pressed down.
3. Tapping the center of the lid with a spoon gives a clear, ringing sound (this is the least reliable method).
If a jar is not sealed, refrigerate the contents and use soon or reprocess. Reprocess within 24 hours. When reprocessing, the salsa must first be heated to a boil before packing in hot jars. Wipe jar rims clean. Use a new lid and process for the full time listed.
Wipe jars. Label with the date and the contents of the jar. Remove the screw bands to avoid rust.
Store jars in a cool dark place. For best eating quality and nutritive value, use within one year.
Heat, freezing temperatures, light, or dampness will decrease the quality and shelf life of canned food.
Before opening each jar, look for bulging lids, leaks or any unusual appearance of the food.
After opening, check for off-odor, mold or foam. If there is any sign of spoilage, destroy the food.
Tomatillo Green Salsa
5 cups chopped tomatillos
1 1/2 cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
1/2 cup seeded, finely chopped jalapeno peppers
4 cups chopped onions
1 cup bottled lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin, optional
3 tablespoons oregano leaves, optional
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir frequently over high heat until mixture begins to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2O minutes, stirring occasionally.
Ladle hot into pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner 15 minutes at 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.
Yield: 5 pints
You may use green tomatoes in this recipe instead of tomatillos.
Chile Salsa (Hot Tomato-Pepper Sauce)
10 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
6 cups seeded, chopped chili peppers*
4 cups chopped onions
1 cup vinegar
3 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Combine ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.
Ladle hot into pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner: 15 minutes at 0-1,000 feet altitude, 20 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.
Yield: 6 to 8 pints
*Use mixture of mild and hot peppers.
The only changes you can safely make in these salsa recipes are to substitute
bottled lemon juice for vinegar and to change the amount of spices and herbs.
Do not alter the proportions of vegetables to acid and tomatoes because it might make the salsa unsafe.
Source: Reprinted with permission from the University of Georgia. Andress, E. (2001). USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning. Athens, GA: University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service.
Great Salsa Site Map
Recommended Tested Canning Salsa Recipes
Excerpt: "Sensational Salsas" used by permission of:
Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Extension Food Safety Specialist and Elaine M. D’sa, Ph.D., Research Coordinator.
The University of Georgia and Ft. Valley State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and counties of the state cooperating.
National Center For Home Food Preservation | Universitey of Georgia Publication
FDNS-E-43-16 July 2005