1 cup bottled lime juice (for canning safety, don't use fresh)
1 cup cider vinegar (or substitute additional bottled lime/lemon juice for vinegar)
1 cup water
crushed red pepper flakes, optional (add to taste for a hotter salsa)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Core and cut tomatoes in half. On large baking sheets, place tomatoes cut side down, peppers, quartered onions, & garlic cloves. Roast in preheated oven 30 min., removing garlic after 15 min. Skin of tomatoes and peppers should be blistered and partially blackened. Cover pan for 10 minutes; steam will make peeling skin easier. Remove tomato skins. * Wearing plastic gloves, remove skin, seeds and stems from peppers (or leave seeds if you want hotter salsa). In batches, place onions, garlic, cilantro, peppers & tomatoes in food processor and chop to desired consistency; transfer to 5 quart pan. Add lime juice, vinegar, water, cumin, oregano, salt, & pepper. If any juices remain in roasting pan, add those, too. Stir together. Add crushed red pepper flakes to taste, if more heat is desired.
*Note: If you prefer, you may leave the skin on the roasted tomatoes. Be sure to puree them in a blender or food processor before the other ingredients in order to finely chop the skin.
FOR WATER PROCESS CANNING: Bring salsa to boil on stove top; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add to hot sterilized jars leaving 1/2" of headspace, and water process in water canner 15 minutes for half pints, 20 minutes for pints. Turn off heat, and leave jars in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove from canner and let rest undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
For canning safety: --In order to ensure a safe pH level,do not alter the ratio of tomatoes to peppers, onions, lime juice, and vinegar. Seasonings may be adjusted, if desired. --Follow jar preparation and processing recommended by the USDA; see canning safety guidelines at http://www.freshpreserving.com
For general canning tips, go to http://theyummylife.com/blog/2010/10/60
For a smaller batch version of this recipe for eating right away (not canning) go to www.theyummylife/recipes/182
For a 10-minute fire-roasted salsa recipe using canned ingredients, go to www.theyummylife/recipes/130