Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Zucchini Salsa ~ "Million Dollar" Salsa

What did I do with all that zucchini?  First, I canned zucchini salsa.  We love this stuff. 

I pre-plan and order my organic/non-gmo vinegar over winter, so I have it when canning season starts.  The recipe calls for 2 cups of it.  This is not sold in stores anywhere here.  Hopefully, with my suggestion, one store will start selling it.

Here is the, very late, and promised "how-to" in a sort of quick fashionable way. 

Over the years, I have made several different types of salsa.    We even had a "salsa party" to try them all.   And out of all the ones I canned, zucchini was not one of them.

All recipes were for canned salsa too, not freezer salsas.  I canned zucchini a few years later.  Out of all the recipes I tried, the most liked here, is zucchini salsa.

It's not a Ball recipe, but I have seen several similar variations to the one I make, found online as well. 
I make the salsa from this site online - Zucchini Salsa.

This recipe requires a lot of hand chopping, and two days to make.  Now, if you are a puree kind of person, you could zip all these through a food processor.   We like this texture of salsa.  I first tried chopping the zucchini in my food processor, and it does not "chop" it.  It purees it.

I prefer the chopped version.  I pack the cups too.   Original recipe states to peel and shred.  I do not peel.  I grow organic/non-gmo zucchini.  I simply wash them really good.

I do make a variation of the original recipe, using recommendations from reviewers - 2 cups more of zucchini, 1/2 cup less of brown sugar, 1/2 cup more of tomatoes, and I drain my tomatoes before mixing all the ingredients.  (see updated note at the end of this blogpost) This is a photo of the vegetables chopped and ready to rinse and drain for day two of the process.  I add hot peppers too.  That amount depends on how hot you want it.  

I place the chopped vegetables into a strainer in one sink.  I rinse and let it drain, while I place....

...and ice bath in the other sink. 

Thanks to Mama Pea's advice on how she blanched peas one year, I invested in one of these "fryer" pans to blanch just about everything now-a-days.

Some folks just simply grind the tomatoes up in a food processor or blender and skip this step, but I boil my tomatoes one minute, and toss them in an ice bath.  These are cored, peeled and diced.

While I chop the tomatoes, I place them into a strainer, to drain, before adding them all to the mix.

All of the ingredients are brought to a boil and simmered, while I sterilize 9 - 10 pint jars and lids.  Everything in the recipe is homegrown or purchased organic/non-gmo.  Even the cumin.  Did you know you can make your own hot red pepper flakes too?  Just gather, slice, dehydrate, and run through a food processor or food mill. I plan to have a post on making my own, when my peppers are in full harvest.  The year I made home canned tomato paste, turned out very useful as well.  I am hoping for a bumper crop this year, to re-stock our tomato paste.

I can only fit nine of the pint jars in my canner pot, so one (or a partial jar) is simply cooled and then put directly in the refrigerator for our enjoyment.

We used all of our salsa within a year of making, and we have had no bad jars (using the recipe's directions of a 15 minute water bath boil).   Also, the recipe calls for corn starch, and there are so many recommendations (or warnings rather) about not canning with corn starch.  I've never had one bad jar.  I may make this one year, just using the tomato paste, to see if it makes a difference or not.  However, the reason we like this salsa, is because it is thick and not runny.

Last year our hot peppers looked like pitiful, dinky, brown dots on pathetic even dinkier, dried up plants.  I drove to the next farm-stand and picked up ten, hoping his were hot.  Our one hot banana pepper plant (last year) had mild peppers this year too.  Kind of a bummer, but thankful I can find them elsewhere.  

Sure enough, those peppers were perfect! take care of the remaining zucchini. Hm.  Another batch of salsa perhaps?  Definitely.  We ate up the only two batches last year very early over winter.

I tell people that it's our "million dollar" salsa, because that's what I would charge them if they asked to buy a jar (or asked for a jar for free).  It takes too much work to be handing it out.  I will barter people if they come over and help with cutting down trees, home repairs that I cannot help with, barn roof work, and of course if we get time to dig a root cellar (not looking good, but the year is not over yet).  Hubby suggested I start selling it.  I talked him out of that right away.  

Update 7-2016:  I canned this without the corn starch and left the tomato juice with the tomatoes.  It was still very good and thick, but not too thick.   


Debby Flowers said...

I may have to try it, although some of my family are suspicious of all things zucchini! I'm impressed by your beautiful tomatoes too! Thanks for sharing

Kristina said...

Debby, after Hubby and I got to talking, he said he wanted it with more liquid. I am making it again, but not draining tomatoes, and leaving out the corn starch. I plan to taste test and update when it's done.