Versatile tomato has a wide variety of uses

From salsa to mincemeat and juice to pizza sauce, there’s virtually no end to what can be done with this juicy vegetable

As a new bride decades ago, my neighbour shared a recipe with me for green tomato mincemeat, which I’ve made every fall since.

Green tomato mincemeat

  • 6 c. green tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 6 c. apples peeled and chopped
  • 1 c. seedless raisins
  • 2 c. seeded raisins
  • 1 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. vinegar
  • 4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. mixed glazed fruit or mixed peel
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. allspice
  • 2 tsp. salt

You don’t have to peel the tomatoes but I prefer to. Chop tomatoes and cover them with cold water bring them to boil and drain. Repeat this process three times in total using fresh water each time.

Add all the other ingredients into a large pot and cook for 1.5 hours. Then put into quart jars and process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath canner.

Salsa

Salsa is popular with our family so we make a variety to please different tastes. I use only four jalapenos for those who like a milder salsa.

Fresh tomato salsa

  • 8 jalapeno peppers
  • 7 c. prepared tomatoes
  • 2 c. coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 c. coarsely choppedgreen pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (156 mL) tomato paste
  • 3/4 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 c. loosely packed chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Remove seeds and finely chop jalapeno peppers.

Blanch, peel and coarsely chop tomatoes.

Measure seven cups tomatoes. In large saucepan combine all ingredients. Bring to boil. Simmer 30 minutes or until salsa reaches desired consistency.<

Sterilize five (500 mL) jars. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars. Leave half-inch head space.

Remove air bubbles with a rubber spatula. Wipe jar rims. Place sealer lids and screw bands on jars.

Process jars in boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes. Remove jars. Cool completely.

For those who like a real mild salsa, I make this recipe.

TJ’s salsa

  • 5 c. Roma tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 green peppers seeded and chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 3/4 c. vinegar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper optional

Bring to boil and simmer one hour or until thick. Ladle into pint jars leaving half-inch headspace. Process jars in boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes.

We use salsa in many different ways such as on sausages and baked potatoes or for a snack with a variety of chips and tacos.

If you are looking for ways to use tomatoes besides canning and salsa, check out Getty Stewart on Facebook — she has some great recipes.

Personally, I like to can tomatoes and make tomato juice and my own pizza sauce and pasta sauce. Then I always have some on hand.

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