Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spicy White Peach Salsa

Before this summer started, I had already started a list of all the things I wanted to preserve once the bounty of our garden and farmers markets hit. Eating well is very important to us, and one of the ways to make sure that we can still get a taste of summer, while still eating locally is to preserve local ingredients. Canning has been getting a lot of press lately, and one of the articles (actually an article based on an NPR interview) was "Overloaded from Your Garden? Just Can It," an interview with a DC food blogger, Cathy Barrow of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen. Cathy's blog is great, and she has some really creative and inspired recipes!

The NPR story had four recipes that went with it for different preserved concoctions. The two that really called my name were Fig, Lemon and Thyme Confiture (um, yeah, delicious - maybe my baby fig tree will produce enough for this) and Spicy Peach Salsa. Peaches are one of my favorite fruits and since we happen to be in peach season, I decided that this was the one to try first. I ended up using White Peaches, instead of yellow and substituting half of the peach called for with tomato. On her blog, Cathy wrote that this was another great combo.

I got some pretty pint jars and set to work. The one disappointing thing about this recipe was I only got 3 pints, not 4 out of my ingredients. Maybe I let them cook down too much? Either way, it looked and smelled delicious. I can't wait to open a jar up!

Oh, and because a lot of people have been saying things like "Oh, I have always wanted to try canning..." to me. YOU SHOULD!!!! It's a lot of fun, economical, and not very hard. You don't even really need special equipment (although a $3 jar lifter is a life saver). One caveat. Always. Always. Always. Use a recipe. That way you won't risk getting botulism. That said, with a recipe, it isn't a very hard thing to do, and is very rewarding.

Spicy White Peach Salsa (adapted from Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen)
makes 3 to 4 pints
3 cups ripe white peaches, peeled and diced
3 cups tomatoes, diced1-1/4 c red onion
1-2 jalapeno peppers
1 c sweet red pepper
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c fresh cilantro
3/4 c cider vinegar
2 T honey
2 tsp cumin
1/2 t cayenne

Prepare pint jars (either run through the dishwasher or boil for 10 minutes). Put lids in a small pot of simmering water. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the peaches for 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the fruit.  Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Slip the peels from the peaches, then remove the pit and cut into a 1/2" dice.

Add the peaches and tomatoes to a 5 qt. non-reactive pan. Add the cider vinegar, honey and spices and stir well. The vinegar will keep the fruit from discoloring.

Put the onion, peppers, garlic and cilantro in the food processor and pulse until everything is cut up quite small, but not liquified in any way. Or - if you don't have a food processor (which I don't), chop by hand, but make sure the pieces are smaller than the pieces of peach.

Add the chopped vegetables to the peaches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring gently so the peaches do not break apart.

Put hot salsa into hot pint jars (make sure to wipe down the mouth of the jar before putting on the lids) and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Peaches and Tomatoes Just Added
Cooked Down into Salsa
Canning Setup
Boiling Water Bath

Peach on Foodista


Randi said...

can't wait to eat some of this. mmmpeaches. right now i'm getting ready to cook up some butternut squash soupage.

Georgia said...

Mmmmm....yum! I want some!!! Oh, and maybe you could blog on it...just maybe :)

Grace said...

Hey Georgia- have I told you lately that I have always wanted to try canning! I need to take the plunge and go for it. This recipe sounds awesome by the way!!

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