So you went crazy this past weekend and picked a zillion berries and now you are worried that your fresh strawberries might not be so fresh by the time you want to use them? Here’s a little trick from The Canning Diva to buy you a little bit of time while you process those berries:
- Put your strawberries in a large bowl and run cold water over them.
- Add 1/4 cup of vinegar (distilled white or apple cider) to every 2 cups of water.
- Let them soak for about 5 minutes.
- Drain, rinse, and dry on a towel-lined cookie sheet.
Now get to work using the fruit of your labor in this unusual dish sure to delight at your next porch party or holiday party. In the dead of winter, if you pull out a jar of this to take for a dish to pass, you will look like a rock star. This past weekend, my friend Jen, her mom, Mrs. Jen and I went to work churning out two batches of this sweet and savory salsa. I can’t wait to try it over some vegan cream cheese on a cracker or a corn chip.
- 12 cups of bite-size chopped strawberries (about 4 quarts)
- 1/2 cup Agave Sweetener
- 5 cups of raw, unbleached sugar (if this huge amount freaks you out you can use more Agave, Stevia or Splenda, consistency will vary however-we used 3 C sugar and a mix for the rest)
- 1 1/4 cups Vidalia onions, size is your preference (mine are diced small)
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup of jalapeno (if you want more heat, keep some seeds) I remove all seeds and chop fine in my small food processor
- 4 ounces of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3/4 cup red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups of apple cider vinegar
Directions from the Diva: Boil sugar, vinegar and agave sweetener until sugar has dissolved. Add all onions, peppers, herbs, lime juice and spices and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add the strawberries. Mix well.
Using a slotted spoon, hot pack salsa into pint size jars being sure to include ample liquid in each jar so long as the salsa isn’t too watery. Leave a ½” of headspace for proper processing. (I filled 7 jars with salsa and had 1 pint left over that was pure liquid. Process the liquid the same as the salsa and use it as a marinade or the base of a sweet and savory cocktail)
As always, be sure to wipe your rims with a warm cloth to remove any liquid. Seal each jar with lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. Processing doesn’t begin until after the water is at a rolling boil!