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My father's favorite fruit is peaches, specifically, peach pie. In an effort to make homemade Christmas gifts, I decided to can up some peach pie filling for part of his Christmas gifts. I ended up with one and half boxes of peaches, so after canning seven jars of the peach pie filling, I still had quite a bit left over.
We ate peaches fresh, peaches cooked on the grill with a honey cinnamon glaze (oh so good), peach fruit leather, peach and mint smoothies, and I still had peaches. So I decided to make up a batch of peach salsa. Tomatoes and I have a love hate relationship. I love to eat and cook with them, but they hate to grow in my Pacific Northwest garden, or maybe it's just my garden, not the Pacific Northwest. Some of my neighbors grow gorgeous tomatoes, and while I can grow almost everything else, tomatoes are my one true woe.
I don't like a real hot salsa and peaches give a nice balance of sweet with the heat. I actually prefer it over regular salsa.
I adapted this recipe from *affiliate link Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
6 cups peeled and chopped peaches
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 hot yellow wax peppers, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (I find it important to use organic fresh spices when possible and purchase all of my spices from my affiliate partner Rose Mountain Herbs. I've found I can usually use less because the flavor is much more potent when using a fresh quality product.)
Makes 5 pint jars
In a large stainless steel pot, combine vinegar and prepared peaches. Add onion, peppers, cilantro, honey, garlic, and cumin. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, boiling gently and stirring often, until slightly thickened, around 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Ladle hot salsa into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles and wipe rim of jar with a clean damp cloth. Center lid on jar and screw band down snugly.
Place jars in rack inside waterbath canner. Make sure tops of jars are covered by at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid and remove jars onto a folded towel after 5 minutes. Allow to cool and set for 24 hours before storing in a cool dark space. Be sure to check seals before storing. If a jar hasn't sealed, immediately store it in the fridge.
I actually put one jar in the fridge without canning it to use right away. I baked a salmon and during the last 10 minutes of baking, spooned this peach salsa on top. It was delicious and paired so nicely with the fish. (We ate it so fast I forgot to snap a picture, but it was pretty and tasty.)
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.