This has been a rough year for peaches, due to the late season freezes which harmed the Hill Country crops. I knew I wanted to preserve some, and wanted to do something different than my usual jam. I procured some peaches from Lightsey Farms, from Mexia, from the SFC Farmer’s Market downtown.
My favorite canning book, Canning for a New Generation, had a recipe for Peach and Cilantro Salsa,and it sounded delicious, so I decided to give it a whirl.
The first part is the most labor intensive, peeling the peaches. In the past, I’ve scored and blanched them, but this time I just cut them in half, removed the pit, and peeled off the skin.
After that, I chopped them into a very non-uniform dice.
Much of of the acid component of the recipe, came from lime juice, a full cup. (I doubled the recipe)
The recipe called for sweet onion, however, I used red onions from my garden, thinking they would ad some complexity. Or maybe I just hate to follow directions.
The recipe also called for red bell pepper, but I wanted heat, so I substituted jalapeno pepper for the bell pepper and also used the serrano the recipe called for.
One of the reasons I was so drawn to this recipe, was because it included mint and cilantro.
The recipe called for sugar “to taste” , but I omitted the sugar and substituted honey, as the sugar was not meant as part of the preservative, but merely to add flavor.
The whole mixture was then brought to a simmer, for a while as I prepared my jars.
The end result was more savory that sweet, which was my goal. It has a kick from the jalapeno, that likely has become more pronounced, since being heated up in the water bath for 10 minutes. I’m imagining that this salsa will be great over grilled chicken or fish, or just on its own on a tortilla chip. It sure is pretty!
Peach Cilantro Salsa
Recipe from the book “Canning For A New Generation”
6 pounds ripe peaches, pitted
6 oz sweet onion
3 oz red bell pepper
6 jalapenos, seeded with membranes removed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoon salt
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
- Chop peaches, onion, bell pepper, and jalapenos in food processor.
- Add all ingredients except cilantro and mint to a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until onion is tender and peaches are easily mushed on side of pot.
- Stir in cilantro and mint.
- Ladle into sterile jars and process in water bath.