I ran out of salsa.
I didn't realize that I ate quite so much of the stuff, but thinking back, I do belong to school of "wrap it in a tortilla and call it good" school of quick eats. Any thing in a tortilla deserves a helping of salsa, so combine those two little facts of how I eat on the fly and I somehow went through 8 quarts and a dozen pints of the stuff.
I seriously need to make more, much much more, this summer. Must. Avert. Salsa. Crisis.
While I wait for my hoop house to catch up with my tomato supply needs, I searched online for a salsa that I could make with the goodies I picked up the other day at the Farmers Market. I found a gem of a recipe on a wonderful blog called Creating Nirvana (www.creatingnirvanatoday.blogspot.com) called Corn and Bean Salsa. I love this kind of salsa, and buy it whenever I can find it in a good brand, and since sweet corn season has begun and I have a four pound bag of organic black beans calling to me from the pantry, I thought it was time that I made up a batch. I wound up making 9 pints, with a little extra to eat while I waited for the pressure canner to do its thing. It's a fantastic fresh tasting salsa, great textures and just enough of a kick of heat to liven up the beans and corn.
Corn and Bean Salsa
You'll need two large tomatoes; eight ears of sweet corn; one pound (about three cups) dried black beans; eight bell peppers (I used green, red and orange); three or four hot peppers of your choice; two large onions; 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro (I mixed flat leaf parsley and cilantro); 4 teaspoons red pepper flakes; 1 tablespoon cumin; 2 teaspoons kosher salt; and the juice of four limes.
Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain and rinse the next day, pick out any that look odd. Put beans in a large pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the beans, rinse, and allow to cool a little. Meanwhile, chop up your tomatoes, onions, peppers (mince those hot ones finely), and using a sharp knife cut the kernels off the corn cobs. Put all the vegetables and the beans into a large stock pot, add cilantro, pepper flakes, cumin, salt and lime juice. Add enough water (about a quart) to just cover the vegetables. Then bring the mix to a boil on the stove, stirring to prevent sticking. Boil for about 10 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. Ladle salsa into hot pint jars using a slotted spoon. Fill jars leaving one inch of headspace, and add the "brine" (or juice in the pot) to just cover the salsa in the jars. Cover with hot lids and tighten bands, then place your pints in a pressure canner.
**NOTE: You really do have to pressure can this recipe. There isn't nearly enough acidity for water bath canning, and so many mixed veggies of different canning needs, that you have a tremendous risk of nasty, death-inducing bacteria breeding in your cans if you don't. Pressure canning is pretty easy--if I can learn to do this on my own and not blow up my kitchen, so can you. So please, stay alive and follow the directions below for pressure canning.**
Follow the directions that came with your pressure canner and process the pints at 10 pounds of pressure for one hour and fifteen minutes. Yes, it is a really long time, but the beans in this mix require the longest processing time to be shelf-stable so you gotta go with their time needs.
You should end up with somewhere between nine pints (as I did) to a dozen pints (as the original poster of the recipe did). Try not to eat them all at once. You will be happy to have paced yourself come the wilds of winter February.