With Peaches almost done for the season I was very excited to find a recipe that would incorporate the peaches and the Romas I was harvesting from my garden. At about a pound every other day I have been working to ripen and dice them by each weekend so that I could do some canning when I have time. Now two weeks ago while there were a few peaches left from the farmers market I was on the hunt to make a fruit salsa but not something that was fruit only since the smell and taste of my tomatoes are sweet and luscious.
I was looking through the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving when I came across a summer salsa that had the elements such as peaches, tomatoes, the heat of a jalapeno, but the acidity came from the freshness of lemon and the tartness of balsamic vinegar. The recipe included one ingredient that I didn't have pears. So instead of passing up the opportunity to make this jar of salsa I decided to substitute out the pears and add enough peaches to measure out the fresh fruit.
The pot of ingredients looks really beautiful with the yellow of the peaches, the red of the tomatoes and onions, and the green of the jalapenos. When I got to the second round of the recipe to add the balsamic that bright color disappeared and I was very sad. Had I ruined the salsa? I was not happy that this balsamic had now "dirtied" my colors. I proceeded to finish that recipe and ladle it into the jars. Still mad that this happened I figured that if after some time the flavor sucked that I would rip the page out of the book and never be tempted again.
Two weeks now and all of the ingredients have been incorporated and the jars on the shelf waiting. I have decided tonight to open the first jar to taste the results of my work. The flavor is really good. The balsamic has mellowed and all that is left if the sweetness rather than the tart and it goes so well with the peppers and onions. The best part is how well the tomatoes taste with the peaches and my favorite bite is the one with cilantro. Enjoy!
4 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes
4 cups pitted peeled peaches
1 red bell pepper
1 cup chopped red onion
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup loosed packed finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup liquid honey
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup balasamic vinegar
In a large stainless steel pot or enameled dutch oven combine tomatoes, peaches, red pepper, onion and jalapeno peppers.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add cilantro, honey, lemon zest and juice, and vinegar. Reduce heat and
boil gently, stirring frequently, until stlightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Ladle hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1/2" headspace. remove air bubbles, wipe rims, add hot lid/rings and tighten fingertip tight.
Process jars in a water bath canner at a full rolling boil for 15 minutes for half pints and 20 minutes for pints.
Makes 8 half pint jars.
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