To begin, you'll want to sterilize your canning jars. You'll want to sterilize 6-8 pints or 3-4 quarts. I like to use my shallow roaster for this, filling it about halfway and placing the jars in the cool water. Then cover and bring the water to a rolling boil. Continue boiling the jars for 16-20 minutes.
Using a jar lifter, move the hot jars to the counter and place on a tea towel where they can dry. As an alternative, my mom uses her dishwasher to sterilize her jars. But I don't have a dishwasher, so I do it the old way.
Step #2 - Prepare Tomatoes
Next, we'll move on to the tomatoes. Begin by washing your tomatoes to remove any dust or dirt. Then to make peeling easy, scald the tomatoes in boiling water just long enough for the peel to begin to break (15-30 seconds). Again, I use the shallow roaster for this, as well as the water that I had used for sterilizing the jars. Once the skins begin to break, plunge the tomatoes into cold water.At this point, the tomato skins will just slide off the tomato. So easy.
Using a pairing knife, peel, core, and dice the tomatoes into small pieces. Then begin measuring out the tomatoes using a glass measuring cup.To make this a bit more simple you're looking to measure out approximately 12-14 cups of tomatoes, which will turn into about 6-8 pints of salsa.
Once all of the tomatoes have been peeled, cored, and diced, place them in the shallow roaster. (Of course, you'll want to empty the roaster of any water used prior to this.)
Step #3 - Prepare Onions, Peppers, and Garlic
Next, dice onions and jalapenos into small pieces.When working with hot peppers, I've found that I need to protection for my hands, so I use plastic gloves. Some people do not have this problem. (I'm thinking of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.) But I learned the hard way what the pepper seeds do to me!
Add onions and jalapenos to the tomatoes. Mince the garlic and add that to the pot as well.
Step #4 - Mix in Remaining Ingredients
Your next step will be to mix in the vinegar and tomato paste, followed by the sugar, salt, spices, and herbs. Gently stir all of this together until combined.
Bring mixture to a boil and continue at a low boil for 20 minutes.At this point, your salsa is ready for eating, once it has cooled. If you plan to can your salsa in jars, continue with Steps #5 and #6.
Step #5 - Prepare Canning Lids
Once salsa has finished cooking, prepare your canning lids. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water. Place canning lids (4-8 lids) in the water, with every other one facing up and then down. Boil lids for 1-2 minutes.
Step #6 - Fill Jars and Process in Water Bath
The final steps are to prepare the large pot for the water bath. Fill this pot with enough hot water to cover jars by 1". This will vary, depending on whether you're using pint or quart jars. Cover the pot and bring to a simmering boil.
Begin filling jars by pouring scoops of salsa into the sterilized canning jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Use a wide-mouth funnel to help with this process. This will help keep the tops of the jars clean. You do not want any salsa on the tops or sides of the jars.To ensure a good seal, dip your finger in water and run your finger over the top of each jar to clean and wet. Place a lid onto each jar, then screw the band until firmly tight.
Using a jar lifter, place the filled jars into a your prepared water bath. Cover the pot and bring to a full boil. Process at a low-boil for 30-40 minutes for pints and quarts, respectively.
At the end of the processing time, remove jars from the boiling water with a jar lifter and place on a tea towel on the counter. Make sure any air-conditioning vents are covered when you do this as you don't want to introduce your jars to any sudden air changes.
Allow jars to set for 24-48 hours before removing the bands and storing. You may store properly sealed jars for up to a year.
Serve Homemade Garden Tomato Salsa with your favorite corn chips! This recipe will make 6-8 pints or 3-4 quarts of salsa. Refrigerate salsa after it has been opened.