Let me start by saying these two words, cherry salsa. Delicious, savory, sweet, spicy cherry salsa.
If you’ve never had it, either to consume fresh on a beautiful summer’s day or preserving it through canning, you’re missing out. As cherry lover you’ll not want to miss out on the opportunity to enjoy this savory salsa during the cold days of winter.
To quote John Snow from my most favorite series, Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming”.
Yes friends, winter is coming, there’s no denying it. Take the time preserve the flavors of summer, smile when you open the jar and feel the warmth of the sun as you take your first bite. Then sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labor.
Let me be the first to encourage you to take advantage of fresh cherries while they are in season, eat as many as you can, then dig out the canner and begin preserving them. Lots of them, in as many ways as possible.
Maybe some cherry barbecue sauce, a chunky cherry jam, cherry juice concentrate, dehydrated cherries for baking, fruit leather bites, bourbon cherries, pie filling or something as easy as cherries in a simple syrup. Heck, even something as simple as freezing them to enjoy in smoothies.
If you’re looking for additional recipes on how to preserve Bing or Rainer cherries you really need to check out the Sweet Preservation section of the NW Cherry Growers website. The site contains a few mouth watering canning recipes, actually, more than a few mouth watering recipes.
Alright, I’ll be honest, when a friend suggested that I put up cherry salsa I may have wrinkled my nose. Fruit flavored salsa really isn’t my thing, but I knew the familia would love it.
The research began as I dug into every preserving book we had on-hand, ventured through the magical land of Google and even visited the fairytale world of Pinterest in hopes of finding a recipe that would appeal to me. Nothing, not a thing made me want to commit the time or goods to canning cherry salsa.
In the end, I decided to modification the tomato salsa recipe we use, and it was truly a delicious decision. Justin and the kids loved it, I mean loooved it. Lick the bowl clean, loved it.
Begin by gathering the freshest ingredients available. Be it straight from the garden, orchard or through a local farmer in the area.
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Lime Juice
- Red Onion
- Sea Salt, Kosher Salt or Pickling Salt
- Red Wine Vinegar (5% acidity or higher)
Prepare to Can
If you are new to canning or need a quick rundown on safe canning methods, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation. This website provides best practice for various forms of preserving foods, which by the way, we have bookmarked for easy reference.
Let’s get started! Preparing the canning jars and gather all the necessary tools to complete the job.
This recipe calls for the cherries to be pitted and we found that the Progressive Cherry Pitter worked best. In the process of removing the pit the fruit was not bruised, and unlike other pitters this particular one removed more pits than its competitors. A pitless (not really a word) salsa is the way to go.
Prepping the Salsa
Once the fresh items have been chopped, add all the ingredients to a heavy bottom sauce pan, like a Lodge Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven .
Next, add the lime juice, red wine vinegar and salt.
Bring all the ingredients to a boil for 5 minutes, making sure to stir often reaching the bottom of the pan.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes making sure everything is hot all the way through.
This cherry salsa can be enjoyed with something as simple as tortilla chips, or to enhance the flavor of chicken and pork dishes. Whatever you pair it with you’ll be amazed by its flavor and how well it compliments dishes. Heck, don’t be surprised when you’re caught licking the bowl clean.