Happy International Can-It-Forward Day! Organised by Ball, this annual event celebrates the joys of fresh preserving, encouraging gardeners & food enthusiasts to preserve their favourite home-grown or locally sourced ingredients. I am thrilled to be doing my bit this year – looking at my growing collection of homemade preserves I can’t help but feel proud. I have made jams, chutneys, salsas and quick pickles and have shared the wealth with neighbours and friends receiving many equally amazing homemade gifts in return. That big jar in the photo below is full of walnuts my neighbours are pickling – can’t wait for them to be ready.
Homemade spicy tomato salsa
- 180 ml | 6fl oz red wine vinegar
- 13 large tomatoes
- 6 jalapeno peppers seeds removed, finely diced
- 2 medium red onions peeled and finely diced
- 80 g | 3oz fresh coriander cilantro, roughly chopped
- 12 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- Heat jars and lids in simmering water (follow method here) until ready for use.
- Blanch the tomatoes for about a minute in boiling water. Transfer to a large bowl filled with cold water and gently peel the skin off.
- Discard the seeds and chop the tomatoes.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Ladle the hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and wipe the rim clean. Centre lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
- Process the jars in a a large stainless steel pot (hot water bath preserver) for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, remove cover and let the jars cool for 5 minutes. Remove jars without tightening the bands if loose. Cool for 12 hours and test the seals. Lid should not flex up and down when centre is pressed.
Easiest three ingredient dip with homemade spicy tomato salsa for Can-It-Forward Day
- Easiest three ingredient party dip
- 200 g | 7oz homemade salsa
- 200 g | 7oz cream cheese
- 100 g | 3.5oz grated mature cheddar cheese
- a little olive oil to drizzle optional
- sprinkling of chopped flat-leaf parsley optional
- Tortilla chips
- 8 large corn tortillas
- olive oil to brush on tortillas
- sea salt
- sweet paprika
- Italian dried herb mix or herbs of your choice
- Make the baked tortilla chips. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Brush the tortillas with a little olive oil on both sides.
- Pile the tortillas in a stack and slice into 8 wedges.
- Spread on a large baking tray in a single layer (you will need to do this in batches). Sprinkle with salt, paprika and herbs.
- Bake for 5 minutes then flip over. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the tortillas start browning at the edges. Leave the chips to cool down.
- Make the dip. In a large bowl, combine the salsa, cream cheese and cheddar. Mix everything together and heat for 2 minutes in the microwave. Stir well and heat for another 1-2 minutes and serve hot, drizzled with a little olive oil and some chopped parsley.