Corn in salsa? Why, yes, thank you for noticing. I’m not sure why you never seem to find corn included in salsa recipes, since corn and tomatoes are such a natural pair. Maybe it’s because salsa always seems to be served with corn: corn tortillas, chips, nachos, etc. But I got it into my head to add some of Tai’s delicious grilled corn to a basic, flavorful, spicy-but-not-killer-spicy red salsa, and like an old Devo tune, it simply wouldn’t leave. I wasn’t even positive that it was safe to water-bath process corn – it is such a starchy vegetable – but a quick look through the Ball Complete yielded a BWB corn relish recipe, convincing me that the small amount in my salsa (substituted for other low-acid ingredients) was perfectly safe.
I confess that, other than a few taste tests before it went into the jars, I haven’t even tried this yet. I did have a half-jar left at the tail end of my canning session that got popped into the fridge; it was busted out during an impromptu crêpe party that we hosted last weekend. Based on the moans, groans and imminent brawl between Tai, Alison & Katrina over the last of the salsa: I’m guessing it’s pretty good.
Adapted from Zesty Salsa and Corn Relish in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, J. Kingry and L. Devine, eds.
- 6 cups diced tomatoes (about 3 lbs: I used Juliet), unpeeled
- 2 and 1/2 cups diced Cubanelle peppers (about 8 – 10 peppers)
- 1 and 1/2 cups diced onion (about 1/2 lb)
- 1 cup cooked corn kernels, fresh or frozen (I used Tai’s Grilled)
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tbsp)
- 1/2 + 1/8 cups cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
- 1 guajillo chile (1/8 oz), softened in 1/8 cup of boiling water
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 and 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp packed chopped fresh cilantro
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- As you dice the tomatoes, measure into a large colander to drain out any excess juice (depending on your preference, you can either reserve for another use, or reduce to a syrupy consistency and add back to the salsa). Add peppers, onion, corn (if frozen, run kernels under hot water to thaw), and garlic to colander.
- Transfer vegetables to a large (6-quart) stockpot or Dutch oven. Add vinegar, cumin and salt. Drain the liquid from the guajillo chile and add to the pot; finely chop the chile pepper and add to the pot.
- Simmer over medium heat until vegetables have softened and some of the liquid released has evaporated, thickening the salsa slightly, about 10 minutes. Add cilantro; bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Ladle hot salsa into hot, sterlized jars to 1/2-inch headspace, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Yields about 4 pints.
- Substitute any tasty tomato for the Juliet variety. I leave the skins on, so you could even use cherry tomatoes if you like (or feel free to peel the tomatoes).
- Substitute banana peppers, or green bell peppers, for the Cubanelles.
- If you must, substitute flat-leaf parsley for the cilantro.
- Add in some lime juice (2 tbsp to start) and/or fresh zest.
Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Refrigerated, use within 2 weeks.