01 October 2011

Green Tomato Salsa

The weather here is turning, and while the days are wonderful, often flirting with temperatures in the 70s, the nights are often in the low 40s. This, of course, means that our tomatoes are no longer enjoying the luxury of long, warm days for ripening. It is, therefore, time to find a solution for all those green tomatoes that are left on our plants (and the plants of our school garden, which no one seems to want besides us.) We harvested the other day and got close to 2 bushels of green tomatoes.


So, I set about to find a way to use them up, and while tomatillos and tomatoes are not related, a green tomato is a grand substitute for a tomatillo in time of abundance, as evidenced by my out of this world green chile salsa.

People, this is like CHILE VERDE IN A JAR. In fact, I'm pretty sure we could brown a pork roast, dump in a quart of this salsa, add some water, and have chile verde, end of story. I highly encourage you to put some of this away for the winter. It's also good with chips. :)

I made a quintuple batch (yes you read that right) that yielded about 16 pints, but here are the measurements for a single batch of spicy green goodness. Oh baby, yeah.

Green Tomato Green Chile Salsa
makes about 3 pints

5 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped green chiles, seeded (I used Anaheim and Tiburon)
1/2 cup chopped jalapeños, seeded (or not, at your own risk . . .)
3 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup bottled lemon juice
1/4 cup bottled lime juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp crushed cumin seeds or ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large pot (I used our canning pot for my giant batch!) and bring to a boil. Stir often, until all ingredients are softened. I pulled out my handy dandy stick blender (you know, the vvt-vvt,) and then slowly made my way through the 2 gallons of assorted greenness unless it was fairly smooth and well blended. You could also purée it in batches in a food processor, but that would take forever for my giant batch. After blending, boil for another 10-15 minutes, then fill your clean jars and process them. 15 minutes in boiling water should do it. I'm pretty sure if I made only a single batch, it wouldn't last through the weekend. A giant batch was a very good idea.

Now, if you have tomatillos, sub them in for the green tomatoes. I just happened to have an over-abundance of green tomatoes, so that's the route I went. We'll be making another giant batch tonight, I believe.

**NOTE: I just finished a second giant batch, and this one turned out a bit tarter than the previous. I think I used a little too much acid, so perhaps a little less lemon or vinegar for this batch? There's plenty to keep it safe, at least according to my research, so I think you can go down as low as 3/4 cup total, according to your own taste. I probably would. Of course, follow good health preserving guidelines for your altitude and comfort zone. You're responsible for staying botulism free in your own home. :)

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