I can now check salsa off of my list of things I’ve never made. I love salsa, and we use a lot of it in our house. Mexican food is easy for us because it’s easily made gluten-free, and with Mexican there’s always salsa. It’s also great to throw a bowl of chips and salsa out for appetizers for guests, or just for a mid afternoon snack. We enjoy all types of salsa, a few years back I even bought my husband a “salsa of the month” membership. Two jars of salsa a month for 6 months. It was great, a near endless supply of salsa, and the variety was amazing. Since then, we’ve been trying different salsa from the store but there’s always something missing. The nicer/fancier stuff is expensive, and the cheaper stuff is so watery and tasteless. I’ve had one other try at making salsa, and it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted. I had to step it up this time; challenge accepted.
When I was buying the fruit for my Nectarine Jam, I came across these beautiful Roma tomatoes. They called and spoke to me in a way that I found irresistible and I simply had to make something out of them. My husband loves the Mango Salsa from Costco, so I thought I’d try my hand at making my own sweet + heat salsa. The addition of nectarines to this salsa adds a very nice sweet balance to the salsa, and their silky texture fits right in.
The blanching and peeling process took quite some time, but was still easier than taking a peeler to the nectarines. Tomatoes blanch easily, the nectarines take a little longer, I would suggest letting them boil for a full minute before moving them to the ice water. The riper they are the easier they’ll peel, so be sure to get nice ripe fruit. Don’t worry about making too big of an X on the fruits, you’re dicing them up anyway.
This salsa is chunky, and totally scoop-able. Depending on your spice tolerance, you can reduce the jalapeno to make it more mild, or can leave some seeds if you want it spicier. There is a heat to the salsa, but it’s nicely balanced by the sweet nectarines. The honey also helps to reduce the spice from the peppers. If you don’t dice the nectarines too small they’ll keep a nice sized chunk for bursts of sweetness.
Nectarine Tomato Salsa
Makes 16 cups (or 8 pints)
- 6 cups nectarines, peeled, pitted and diced (roughly 1/2 inch pieces)
- 6 cups Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced (roughly 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 pound red onion, peeled and roughly diced
- 2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly diced
- 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup cilantro, de-stemmed
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup honey
- 5 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
1) Cut an x into the bottom of both the nectarines and the tomatoes. Blanch the nectarines for 1 minutes, and tomatoes for 30 seconds in boiling water, immediately transfer to ice water to cool. Once cooled, the skins will slip off easily. Dice up the nectarines and tomatoes in about 1/2 inch pieces and place in cooking pot. Turn on low to begin heating and get the tomatoes to release some of their moisture.
2) Using a food processor, finely dice the red onion, bell pepper, garlic, and cilantro. Add to the nectarines and tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a slow simmer for 30 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burning.
3) Taste the salsa, and adjust flavor as needed. Add honey to increase sweetness, cayenne to increase spice, or a little more salt or garlic for additional “oomph”
3) Ladle salsa into hot sterilized jars, process in water bath caner for 20 minutes. Enjoy