Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yellow Pear Tomato Salsa

I cannot believe the size of the yellow pear tomato plant in my garden. It's a good thing that I planted it at the end of the raised bed, since it promptly soaked up the sunshine, drank the abundant rainwater from the sky and grew above and beyond its little section of square foot garden. This plant has no personal space issues (with the other plants at least--everything else is leaning over and being pushed out of the way to make way for this monster). It grew over the side of the bed, down in the grass and started setting root and sending up new shoots. I'm not kidding. And each little arm--every single strong, upright branch of this plant--produces bundles of big, juicy yellow pear tomatoes, six at a time.

It's also a good thing that my dad would give his right arm for each and every tomato because there's no way I can stay on top of cooking with these. I've brought bags and bags of them over to my dad all summer and he's happily consuming them, calling me for more before I even get home from the tomato delivery sometimes.

I've had a recipe for yellow pear tomato salsa brewing in my head for about a week and today I just had to try it. I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to find a recipe for yellow pear tomato salsa for CANNING though, since salsa is usually a big batch to make and is perfect for canning. But I know that it's really risky to "make your own" canning recipes because of acidity levels in certain vegetables. It's great to make stuff up as you go along, but not when it comes to canning.

The verdict on my salsa though? EXCELLENT. Now I want to see if someone out there can help me convert it to BE a canning recipe. I may have to contact my local Extension Office to see if there is a way to add a little more of this or a little less of that and get the okay for a regular water bath processed recipe.

For today though, it's in a quart jar in the fridge plus a few other plastic storage containers. We've got a (large) family cabin adventure coming up this weekend so I'm thinking that it can't hurt to bring a quart of homemade salsa along, right?

Yellow Pear Tomato Salsa

• 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
• 5 cups seeded, chopped yellow pear tomatoes*
• 1 cup peeled, seeded, chopped cucumber
• 1 cup seeded, chopped red pepper
• 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
• ~ 1/2 tablespoon sugar
• ~ 1 teaspoon salt
• ~ 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
• ~ a lot of ground cumin

Boil vinegar, onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and return to a boil for a couple more minutes. Add parsley, sugar, salt, oregano and cumin and simmer a bit more, maybe 5 minutes? Remove from heat and let cool before refrigerating.

* Yes, I really did seed all of my yellow pear tomatoes for this recipe, but it wasn't really that hard. I just sliced the toms in half lengthwise and used the tip of the knife to slip the seed pouch out. It took about 2 second longer per tomato than if I hadn't removed the seeds and I think it improves the salsa (less watery overall, though it's still a liquid-y salsa).

* Sorry about the sugar, salt, oregano and cumin "measurements." Since I wasn't officially canning this recipe, I knew I could make it like I always do: a little of this, a dash of that... Use what smells/tastes good to you!

* I don't "do" hot peppers, so this is a mild salsa. You could certainly replace the bells with some jalapenos or even hotter peppers if you like.

Enjoy! And seriously, if anyone can help me fine tune this recipe for canning, I would be very grateful! Feel free to contact me in the comments or via email: yogurtandgranola AT gmail DOT com


PikaPikaChick said...

Most canning salsa recipes I've seen have included either lemon/lime juice or vinegar to up the acidity. I would suggest adding some lemon juice to one of your quarts, canning it, and seeing how it does after six months or so. Then you'll have a recipe for next year!

Kiva, Farmstead Lady said...

Sounds yummy and if you have access to the Ball Preserving book, it sounds pretty similar to their salsa recipes, so extra lemon/vinegar or citric acid to each jar should do the trick.

kaela said...

I just made this salsa, with amounts adapted from Zesty Salsa in the Ball Complete book:

Scaled to your 5 cups of tomatoes, it would equal 5 and 3/4 cups of low-acid veg and 1/2 + 1/8 cups vinegar. Since you seem to have about 4 cups of low-acid ingredients, I think it is probably safe to water-bath can as is. Certainly wouldn't hurt to add a tablespoon or two of lime juice or extra vinegar.

Sounds delicious!

Lisa said...

HA if I can be of any other help than offering to take some off your hands. Remember my tomato plants you promised I would need tomato cages for? Yep, I have gotten 2 tomatoes. Yes, 2 tomatoes. No worries, I will try again next year, but seriously...I bought three different tomato plants and I haven't even got 3 tomatoes out of it, so hook me up girl! I will come and pick it up.