I’ve been off schedule from the moment I woke this morning…but that’s not a bad thing, but my most awesome mojo I was working with yesterday doesn’t seem to be with me today. But we’re plowing through towards salsa, nonetheless!
So back to the point…Strawberry Salsa. When I tell people about it, I’m often faced with looks of confusing and bewilderment–how on earth could tomatoes, strawberries, jalapeno, and green onions be good together? You just have to trust me on this one–it works, and after folks get over the first tentative bites it won’t be on your picnic table for long. Two words: Crowd. Pleaser.
It’s one of our favorite treats this time of year, and a recipe that we were given from our Sister in Law. Over the years I’ve tweaked it some to fit our tastes, and for today’s purposes I tweaked it some for preserving purposes. You see, what binds the whole thing together is Balsamic Vinegar and olive oil. And while balsamic is a super yummy vinegar, but not a vinegar you can use for preserving.
I could insert a really long, boring, and nerdy paragraph here about acidity concentrations, how vinegar is processed, etc etc, but I’ll spare you. Bottom line, especially if you’re a first time canner, the first vinegar of choice for preserving is White Vinegar, and can only be substituted with Apple Cider Vinegar because they share the same amount of acidity. Mess with the acidity, and you are messing around with botulism and his nasty cousin Food Poisoning.
So today’s canning took a recipe that was meant to be served fresh, and made it so that we can enjoy it come February when summer time seems light years away. I did that by reducing the balsamic from 12 TBS a batch to about 8 TBS, and replaced the remainder with about 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup lemon juice (to help brighten the flavors). I also added about 1 tsp of peppercorns per can because I just think it looks so darn pretty, and I really wanted to make sure when we crack these guys open the flavor is full, bright, and still has bite to it.
It certainly is sitting pretty on our counter right now, and I got to utilize one of my favorite kitchen tricks–using a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the pith and seeds of the jalapeno.
So happy Friday, everyone, and here’s to happy canning!