Sunday, August 29, 2010

Preserving the Harvest: Zesty Salsa and String Beans

The ingredients for a batch of Zesty Salsa all from the garden:

Bell, Anaheim, Jalapeno, and Cayenne peppers. Roma and San Marzano tomatoes. Copra onions, Red Romain garlic, and Cilantro (not shown).

I roasted the tomatoes and peppers on the grill:

When the tomato skins cracked, they were removed from the grill. The peppers were grilled longer allowing the skins to blacken before removing. The tomatoes and peppers were allowed to cool until easily handled, then skinned, seeded, chopped and added to the pot along with jalapenos, onions garlic, and other recipe ingredients. I let it simmer, then placed the salsa into half pint jars and processed in a boiling water canner. There was some left over for eating. Grilling the veggies added a nice roasted flavor to the salsa. I wore gloves when handling the hot peppers, but one must have had a hole in it because a finger burned for hours after. I finally soaked it in milk and it seemed to help.

While I had the kitchen messed up and the canner on the stove, I canned a batch of beans. I had prepared the beans for canning earlier in the day:

I had enough beans to can a second batch, but ran out of time by the time the pressure canner cooled down with the first batch. So I removed the jars, placed the beans in the fridge, double checked that the stove was off, left everything else out, and went to bed. I finished the second batch this morning using up the last of my pint jars. I blanched and froze the rest of the beans.

As the canner cooled this morning, I went out to the garden to harvest whatever was waiting for me and give the garden a good watering. Temperatures may reach 90 today and I can already feel the humidity creeping up to uncomfortable.

I ended up with 14 pints canned beans, 2-quart freezer bags of beans, and 8 half-pint jars of salsa. Combined with the 37 cups of tomato sauce frozen on Saturday this amounts to my most productive weekend preserving so far.


  1. Awesome...what a feeling, to grow your own food. I have blueberries in the fridge and freezer. Grown in my back yard. Also have green and yellow beans, tons of tomatoes and the raspberries never made it past my cereal bowl! I LOVE gardening!

  2. I bet prepping them on the grill like that makes the salsa taste absolutely awesome. BTW, beautiful beans, especially the purple ones!

  3. That basket of salsa fixin's is beautiful! Oh to have temperatures approaching 90! (sigh) We are back to mid to low 60's for highs again and there just is not enough heat to mature the tomatoes and peppers as a result. Definitely been a cabbage year in the pacific northwest in 2010.

    I love roasted peppers. The difference in taste is amazing and so worth the extra effort.

  4. Nancy: It IS a great feeling to grow your own food. I love it when I can preserve some for the winter months as well. Berries don’t last long here either. I love gardening too. Not only is it enjoyable, but it feeds us too.

    EG: The peppers smelled heavenly roasted on the grill. It was much easier than blanching the tomatoes to remove the skins. Less dishes too. We opened a jar last night. The salsa has a subtle smoky roasted flavor.

    Laura: I wish I could send some sun and warmth your way. We really expect more fall like temperatures this time of year…much more comfortable to complete garden chores and other yard work.

  5. Hmm, I'll have to try grilling the veg's sometime. sounds good!

  6. I really like the feeling of growing your own food at home and pick if you need some. Lovely!