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Nancy's Scrumptious Salsa Recipe
by Nancy Castleman

I'd been yearning for a long time for a salsa recipe that I could safely can. Finally, a friend found one. I've toned it down a little over the years, because the salsa gets hotter and hotter the longer it sits.

Nancy's Scrumptious Salsa

              1/4 cup olive oil
              2 onions diced
              6 cloves garlic, minced
              2 sweet bell peppers, diced
              3 jalapeņo peppers, seeded and minced (Wear gloves. Hot peppers burn hands and other body parts
              1 tablespoon salt
              1/4 teaspoon black pepper
              Cayenne pepper, a dash or two
              2 quarts tomato puree
              1/4 cup vinegar
              8 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
              1/4 cup water or tomato juice

Brown the onions in the olive oil in a big pot with a thick bottom. Add the garlic, plus the bell and jalapeņo peppers. Stir for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over a low heat for a few hours, stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning, but resist the temptation to make the salsa as hot as you would normally eat it. (Remember, I warned ya' ... and you can always add hot sauce later.)

If the salsa is getting so thick that you're worried it's going to burn, add a little more water. Bring it slowly to a boil, and keep it boiling for 5 or 10 minutes.

Ladle the salsa into either pint or half pint jars. You should end up with 4 or 5 pints, 8 to 10 half pints. Can and process using the boiling-water-bath method. Boil for 20 minutes.

Note: This recipe can be doubled or even tripled, which is what I usually do. That way I end up with enough to give salsa as holiday gifts. It always gets rave reviews!

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Reprinted from The Pocket Change Investor© 1999, Marc Eisenson & Nancy Castleman

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