Holiday Gift Recipe: Homemade Salsa Verde

Photo:waywuwei/Flickr/Creative Commons License 

Greta Dunlap, a California Master Food Preserver, has perfected the art of homemade gifts. This salsa uses a bunch for bright, flavorful ingredients to create a delectable addition to any Southwest- or Mexican-inspired meal. Try pairing it with tamales this Christmas!

A word of advice before you begin: proper canning and jarring is both an art and a science. You'll want to know what you're doing before you embark on water bath canning -- luckily, the Food Preservers offer classes!

Salsa Verde with New Mexico Green Chilies, from Saving The Season
3 pounds tomatillos (about 9 cups crushed and chopped)
½ pound onion
1 pound fresh or frozen green New Mexico chilies, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 T. kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t. cumin seeds, toasted
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. dried oregano
½ t. black peppercorns plus a few coriander seeds ground together
Optional: 1 or more fresh or dried cayenne peppers, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (about ½ bunch)
¼ cup reposado tequila or mescal

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Remove the tomatillos from their papery husks - they may be gummy underneath - and rinse them well Crush the tomatillos with the flat edge of your knife, or smash them with our palm. Chop coarsely.

Combine all ingredients. Except the cilantro and tequila, in a pot. Bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and taste. Adjust the seasoning and spiciness to your liking. Add the cilantro and tequila, if using, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute.

Ladle the hot mixture into four prepared pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Click here for Greta's applesauce recipe.

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