It's harvest season and the two things we often have a glut of is tomatoes and zucchini. Tomatoes are fairly easy to use up. You can make tomato sauce for absolute days! But zucchini is a bit harder. You can only pawn off so many of them on your neighbours before they stop answering the door to you. The answer is Tomato Zucchini Salsa! It is an extremely tasty way to preserve summer over the long winter.
This recipe uses hot water bath canning to preserve the salsa, so it will last for years in your pantry (but, trust me, it won't last that long). It is crazy fast to prep. There is no peeling or seeding of tomatoes, and if you use a food proceesor, shredding the zucchini takes only a couple minutes. Plus it has a nice smokey kick to it; not to hot and not too mild either. Perfect for dipping on those hot summer days!
10 cups shredded zucchini (use a food processor to speed things up!)
2 - 3 Tbsp. kosher or pickling salt (don't use iodized salt here)
4 coarsely chopped onions
2 - 4 coarsely chopped and seeded sweet peppers, any colour
2 chipotle peppers in adobo
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
5 cups coarsely chopped ripe tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste (6 oz. each)
Salt the shredded zucchini and leave in a colander for about 30 minutes to drain. While you are waiting, chop your peppers, onions and tomatoes. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the zucchini and dump into a large pot, along with all of the other ingredients, except the tomato paste. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced. Stir occassionally. Stir in tomato paste. If desired, blend the salsa just a bit with an immersion blender. This makes the finished salsa thicker, more like a picante sauce. If you want to leave your salsa chunkier, omit the blending. Both ways give great results.
While salsa is cooking, sterilize your jars and lids.
Remove jars from heat and fill with salsa mixture, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (from the time the pot resumes boiling). Adjust for altitude if necessary (in Calgary that is an additional 5 minutes). When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals.
Label and store in a cool, dark place.
The yields on this recipe vary from year to year based on the type of tomatoes you use and how much you reduce it. I typically get between 3 and 5 pints.
This recipe has been in rotation in our house for so long that I have lost where it originated from. If you know its origins, please let me know so I can give proper credit!
Bernardin (https://www.bernardin.ca/EN/Default.aspx) for all things canning, including safety information and more recipes.