Monday, August 23, 2010


This recipe makes a mild salsa which can be made spicier by the addition of more peppers, and thicker by the addition of more tomato paste. Depending on how finely you chop the ingredients, it can be more or less chunky. It uses Roma tomatoes because they are less juicy than other tomatoes and therefore the salsa needs less cooking time. This recipe is courtesy of Lori B.

1-2 gallon cooking pot
tongs, colander, or a plastic basket to fit in the above pot
3-gallon pot
food processor or knife and cutting board
rubber gloves
jars, lids, and rings (perhaps 24 - we didn't count)
pressure canner
long-handled mixing spoon
measuring cups and spoons
can opener
hot pads

28-32 cups of Roma tomatoes (about 16 pounds)
6 onions
5 cloves fresh garlic cloves
4 green peppers
1 cup jalapeƱo peppers
2 chili peppers
3 yellow banana peppers
1 relleno pepper (or buy the hottest pepper you can find)
3 bunches cilantro
3 large (12 oz.) cans tomato paste
5 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper, ground
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar

The Process

Heat water to boiling in 1-2 gallon pot. While it's heating, wash the tomatoes, removing any bad spots.

When the water boils, blanche the tomatoes, a few at a time, by immersing them in the boiling water to the count of 20, then remove them from the boiling water. This blanching process helps the skins come off easily. (You can also leave the skins on if you like your salsa with skins.)

Peel the skins off the tomatoes.

Chop the tomatoes as finely or as coursely as you'd like your salsa to be using either a food processor or a knife and cutting board or any other chopping method you prefer.

Measure the chopped tomatoes as you finish each batch and put them in the large, 3-gallon pot.

--->It's very important that you wear gloves when cutting peppers to avoid the chemical burns caused by the peppers.<---
With rubber gloves on your hands, cut the peppers, remove all the seeds, and rinse the pepper pieces in cold water. Chop them and add to the pot with the tomatoes.

Peel the onions and garlic cloves. Chop and add them to the pot with the tomatoes and peppers.

Wash the cilantro, removing any discolored leaves and stems. Shake off water or pat dry with a towel , then chop. Add to pot with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic.

Add salt, pepper, vinegar, cumin, brown sugar, and tomato paste. Stir all ingredients together.

Simmer (cook on low) the ingredients in the pot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until reduced by 1/4, or until it's as thick as you'd like it.

When the salsa is almost finished simmering, wash the canning jars in hot, soapy water. Carefully examine the jars and if you find a crack or chip on a jar, do not use it for canning. Rinse jars in hot water and turn upside-down on a dish drainer or a clean dish towel.

At this time you should also wash the rings and lids. Soften the seals on the lids by placing in boiling water for about one minute or follow directions on the box for preparing the lids.

This is also a good time to begin boiling water in the bottom of pressure canner. There should be 2" of boiling water when you put the jars in.

Use a plastic canning funnel to fill the jars.

Fill the clean jars to 1" of the rim (1" lid space). Remove any salsa from around the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth. Place lid on jar, then twist on the ring. Stop twisting when the ring gives resistance. You do not need to tighten further.

Gently place jars in the pressure canner. If your canner is tall enough, you can stack another layer of jars on top of the first layer.

Place lid on canner and tighten. Bring water to a boil and boil for 7 minutes. Steam will escape during this time and allow all the air to vent. At the end of 7 minutes, put the the weights (or, as some folks say, "a jiggler") to the top of the canner. Use 15# weights. Continue to boil until the weights start to jiggle, then begin to gradually lower the temperature, keeping it high enough to keep the weights jiggling.

Begin timing when the weights begin to jiggle. Process the jars on 15# of pressure for 20 minutes. Never leave a pressure canner unattended because it can explode.

At the end of the processing time, remove the jars from the canner and cool overnight on their lids. Clean the jars and store upright for use throughout the winter.



  1. I have a question about this recipe. When we made this on Thursday, I tried some salsa from Wednesday night. Did they use the same recipe as we did on Thursday? It tasted quite differently to me from what we made. Also, the quantity we had at the end on Thursday, is that about what you get from following this recipe, or did we mix it with the other salsa or something? I didn't see when it all got assembled, and so I'm not sure how much this really made. Seems like you get tons and tons of salsa from this recipe if it equals what was in the pot.

  2. Fran, yes, this is the recipe we used for both batches: what we made on Wednesday night and what you tried on Thursday morning were the same recipe. What you tried on Thursday morning before it went into the jars had been cooked down for a while, which blended the flavors so you didn't taste one specific ingredient. What you took home that morning required cooking for a while which, in addition to blending the flavors also eliminates some of the water and makes the salsa thicker. After cooking, the quantity will decrease, depending on how long you cook it. I think the recipe will make between 17 and 20 pints after cooking.