I just made this using jalapeños instead of serrano. I used a larger onion and one more tomato. Now I boiled then simmered but it didn’t get as red as the photo above. Is this normal or did I do something wrong? How do I get that deep red tone?
I made this recipe all with ingredients from our garden and it was great! I did hold off some of my chopped veggies to the side and after pulsating in the blender I added them afterward for the chunkiness, worked perfectly. I did notice it is still a bit runny so next time I think I may try and strain a few of the tomatoes first
I first found your recipe on google and was excited to post it on my pinterest board. This is my first time making salsa and I must say with your recipe it will not be the last. I grew my own garden this year, just for the purpose of making salsa. Everything else I had in my pantry. So glad I read all the great comments which convinced me that this was the perfect thick salsa recipe. I know the 12 pints I canned will not last long.
Update: Because I was paranoid about the peppers, I actually could have upped them a smidge. OTOH, right now it has a gentle heat which won’t burn you out after a couple bites. I did lie though. I omitted the celantro because I am one of those whose tastebuds interpret it as soap. Something tastes like it needs a little more of something, but possibly I mis-measured because the taste is wonderful..I might not whirl the tomatoes quite as much next time though. Boy, this a long comment to basically say Brava.
Hi Shirley. I think the trick here is the original coarse chop on the tomatoes. They will break down some as they cook, but many will keep together in nice bite sized chunks too. You have to stir as they cook so that they don’t scorch, but do so gently so you don’t break the chunks apart too much. Much of the liquid you see in the pictures will reduce, making a thicker salsa with chucks of tomatoes, peppers, and onions in it.
We made this for the first time last year and have dreaming about it ever since! The only issue was that we didn’t make enough and the jars got eaten far too fast! We sent a couple of jars with my daughter to take to her dad when she visited across country and he and his wife have requested more this year! We will be tripling the recipe this year and it still will most likely be too little! We are extremely happy with the way it turned out with absolutely zero modifications. This year we will be adding a bit of kick with a jalepeno or two. Definitely a family favourite!
I’d say it is mild to medium. You can definitely taste it for spiciness while cooking to judge the spiciness. During cooking the spiciness will just distribute more evenly and blend in better, so you’re not just getting heat when you bite on a piece of hot pepper.
Glad you love the salsa Maria. Yes, you should be fine with half lemon and half lime. Sometimes my batches come out with a little extra as well. You should be fine. Most canning recipes vary in quantity results from one batch to another. Par for the course I guess. Anyway, thanks for the comment.
Note that it is the vinegar in the salsa ingredients that make this salsa safe for canning using a water bath canning method. Tomatoes are already slightly acidic, and only need a little more acid to be safely canned using this method. But the chiles are not acidic, so they need more vinegar.
The only sad thing about tomatoes is that they don’t last. A beautiful, ripe tomato will keep for a week at most before it goes bad. So when the frost comes and kills the plants, that’s the end of garden-fresh tomatoes until next year.
Just a caution, you can’t simply take fresh salsa and stick it in the freezer, you do need to cook it down first. The longer you let your salsa simmer, the more liquid will evaporate and the thicker your salsa will get. If you want to speed up the process, add a can or two of tomato paste during the cooking process.
I have a question. I noticed from the pictures that the tomatoes when cooked look like the consistency of tomato sauce, no chunks …..however in your last picture of the finished product there is lots of tomato chunks (my kinda salsa) – how is this done?
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Modern salsa recipes commonly includes tomatoes, peppers, onions, lime juice and cilantro, but the varieties are legion. Some like it hot, including the most fiery of peppers. Others might include mango, pineapple or peaches for a sweeter profile. Tomatoes can be pureed for a thinner “picante” style, or tomatillos used for a green “salsa verde.”
This salsa is wonderful. My husband says it’s the best he’s had. I also left the sugar in but used about half of the amount called for in the recipe. I also added a little salt and some red pepper flakes (since I had no more jalapenos).
At right is a picture of tomatoes from my garden – they are so much better than anything from the grocery store. And if you don’t have enough, a pick-your-own farm is the pace to go! At right are 4 common varieties that will work:
Good morning Cheryl. If you’re looking for thick salsa, you’ve come to the right place! Our salsa is thick and tasty! The extra effort is well worth the results. There isn’t any reason you couldn’t use a pressure canner with this recipe. Let us know how it turns out.
Also, for those who are too lazy to put on gloves to cut chile peppers, you can always use a fork and knife, as if you were cutting them to eat them. That’s how they do it in Mexico. Just a note: they don’t even cut them with their bare hands down there, so don’t try it at home!
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I’ve planted an herb garden every summer for three years with decent results. I have mint for my mojitos, basil for my pesto, and a three-year-old rosemary plant that is starting to look more like a small tree.
Just like it sounds: wash your hands then squeeze each tomato and use your finger or a spoon to scoop and shake out most of the seeds. You don’t need to get fanatical about it; removing just most will do. Another way to do it is to cut each tomato in half, across it, instead of lengthwise. Then just shake the seeds and juice out.
On adjusting the heat: You can use seeds in part or all of your jalapenos. Seeds add heat; I leave them in about half the peppers. That’s for “hot” salsa! Also, you can seek out hot peppers with more stripes or “cracks” if you like spicy, as they naturally carry a zing.
That’s fantastic, Sean, I’m so glad you like it! We’re big fans of it, too, and it’s so gratifying making your own and seeing all those jars stacked in your pantry. Now, if only our garden had been as successful this year…crossing our fingers for next year!
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Chris Munn, it’s so nice to meet someone with Peruvian connections! What a treat that your wife has introduced you to so many Peruvian favorites. I’ve found that Peruvians are very proud of their cuisine and every region has their own specialties. I’m glad you found this salsa recipe. It’s simple to prepare and my favorite salsa. Thanks for coming by and leaving a meaningful comment.
Use as much or as little jalapeño as you like. If you accidentally put in too much, add more tomatoes or even blend in a little tomato sauce if you have some on hand. This recipe also works well with canned diced tomatoes when you’re craving a taste of summer during the dark days of winter.
Hi Martha. I haven’t tried, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use green tomatoes. It’s my understanding that green have more acidity than red, so safety shouldn’t be a concern. They are obviously more sour, not being ripe, so you may have to adjust the sugar content accordingly. You may be able to skip the “draining” step as well, being that green tomatoes have less water in them than red rip ones do. Before you bottle and process, taste the batch and adjust your sugar and spices from there. The taste after cooking should be pretty much the same as after processing. Anyhow, if you give it a try, let me know how it turns out. I’m curious to know.
I would imagine it could be canned but keep in mind I have no experience with canning so I am really just making a guess. You will have to check with a more reliable source that knows about canning tomatoes. It does freeze very well though. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
A food processor makes chopping easier and less time consuming. Seed and cut the peppers into chunks, weigh them, then pulse the peppers into smaller pieces in the food processor. Add the chopped peppers to your saucepan. Chop your onions into pieces, weigh them, pulse in the food processor, and add to your saucepan. Skin your tomatoes, cut into smaller pieces, weigh them, pulse in the food processor, and add to your saucepan.
Making and canning your own salsa is something families remember years later. No store bought salsa, even if it is shipped from Texas, compares with the taste of that made from your own tomatoes from your garden or fresh-picked from a local farm! In the middle of the winter, you can have tortilla chips and your salsa and taste the summer flavor of fresh tomatoes. If you like cilantro in your salsa, see this recipe instead.
Canning salsa is definitely an option – you just need to follow a trusted and tested recipe to ensure you have the right acid content for water bathing tomatoes/salsa. I repeat – use a reliable recipe. I know you can find anything on the internet, but why risk it? I the recipes at the National Center for Home Food Preservation. There are several to choose from, they’re delicious and they’re tested – everything you could want.
By the way, being a foodie, I though of creating my own food blog and started writing stuff about home, kitchen and food. I’m fairly new to blogging. I would be very happy and it would encourage me to write more if you could visit one of my blog post and drop a small comment. 🙂
I would like to try your salsa this year. However, I am not a big fan of vinegar in salsa. I successfully substituted lime juice in the recipe I canned last year. Do you think that would work in this one as we’ll? Thanks!