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Fresh Vegetable Salsa

5 pint (500 mL) jars

Add excitement to baked potatoes and keep the fat per serving to a bare minimum. Top potatoes with this delicious salsa instead of sour cream.

8 jalapeño* peppers 8

7 cups prepared tomatoes, 7-8 medium-large or 2 lb (1 kg) 1.75 L

2 cups coarsely chopped onions 500 mL

1 cup coarsely chopped green bell peppers 250 mL

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3

1 can (156 mL) tomato paste 1

3/4 cup white vinegar 175 mL

1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro 125 mL

1/2 tsp ground cumin 2 mL

Wearing rubber gloves, remove seeds and finely chop jalapeño peppers. Blanch, peel and coarsely chop tomatoes. Measure 7 cups (1.75 L).

Fill boiling water canner with water. Place 5 pint (500 mL) mason jars in canner over high heat.

Combine peppers, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, cilantro and cumin in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil gently, about 30 minutes or until salsa reaches desired consistency.

Place BERNARDIN Snap Lids in boiling water; boil 5 minutes to soften sealing compound.

Ladle salsa into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (head space). Remove air bubbles by sliding rubber spatula between glass and food; readjust head space to 1/2 inch (1 cm). Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Center Snap Lid on jar; apply screw band just until fingertip tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat for remaining salsa.

Cover canner; return water to a boil; process 20 minutes at altitudes up to 1,000 feet (350 m). Remove jars. Cool 24 hours. Check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward. Remove screw bands, store separately. Wipe jars, label and store in a cool, dark place.

Hot Salsa

Prepare recipe above, adding 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cayenne to the ingredient mixture before cooking.