Our peach tree is full and we have been eating peaches in our cereal, ice cream, and in anything else we can think of. After a long evening of baking and freezing eighteen pies and making a rather large batch of peach jam, I needed something else to do with them that would use up a good two dozen or so. We had plenty of peach conserve and dried peaches. The next idea hit me when I ran into the local store and passed the salsa section. Mango salsa? If they can make that, why not a peach salsa? I looked for recipes online but couldn’t find one to match what I had available in my garden and kitchen. I decided to wing it.
I started by picking the peaches. About twenty-five medium sized, ripe from the tree. For those of you who think the best East coast peaches come from New Jersey, you should try Vermont peaches! Having decided that I did not want to spend the rest of the day on this project, I decided to leave the skins on and just wash them before removing the pits and slicing them. Once all the peaches were sliced, I chopped one medium white onion into small pieces, half a dozen hot peppers from the garden (I removed the seeds as I did not want to salsa too hot), and chopped seven medium sized tomatoes. I also chopped up two green bell peppers and a large bunch of both fresh basil and flat leaf parsley. I threw all of the ingredients into a large sauce pot and added one teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of raw local honey.
Everything cooked together for about an hour and a half on medium heat, as I like my salsas cooked rather than raw. Meanwhile I sterilized ten jelly jars and lids and got all my canning supplies out. After testing the salsa batch, admittedly breaking out the bag of tortilla chips, I ladled the hot chunky mixture into the jars stopping ¼ inch from the top. The batch made nine jars and then a little left over for more sampling. All of the jars went into a water bath for 10-12 minutes to seal.
This recipe is now in my “favorite” box, and I know what to do with all those peaches next summer!