Sunday, 30 September 2007

Canning Salsa

Canning salsa is a lot of work, no question about it. However, the results are excellent, and I love being able to dig into a bowl of summery salsa in the middle of the winter.

An awful lot of recipes for canned salsa call for vinegar. However, in my opinion, if there is vinegar in a salsa, it isn't salsa any more, it's something else. This recipe calls for lime juice instead, which is a traditional ingredient in salsas, and which provides the necessary acidity for canning. Also for reasons of maintaining a safe level of acidity, do not change the proportions of the vegetables. In particular, if you find the Jalapeños do not provide enough heat, replace them with hotter peppers, not more. Jalapeños admittedly may vary considerably in heat, and they do lose some in processing; something to keep in mind.


I roughly chop and salt the tomatoes, and leave them to strain in a cool (not cold) place for several hours to overnight. This removes a lot of liquid, leaving a thicker, less soupy salsa.



While the tomatoes are straining, prepare the other ingredients.



Don't chop your peppers like this - without wearing gloves! My canning partner was very sorry for a few days afterwards, with painfully burning hands. Get organized and buy some gloves. They really are a necessity. Note added: I've found the best way to remove chile oils from the hands is to wash them with a generous quantity of toothpaste.The sooner the better; don't give those oils time to soak in. If you even think you've got chile oils on your hands, you should go and wash them at once.



Once the salsa is prepared, it is heated to the boiling point and packed in hot, sterilized jars.



It's then sealed and processed in boiling water. Okay! Ready?

12 to 14 500ml jars
8 to 12 hours - 2 1/2 to 3 hours working

8 quarts plum tomatoes
pickling salt
6 large onions (red are good if you can get them)
2 to 3 heads of garlic
450 grams (1 pound) Jalapeño chiles
6 large mild green chiles (peppers)
2 1/2 cups minced cilantro
1/4 cup cumin seed, ground
1 156ml (5 1/2 ounce) can tomato paste
PER JAR 3 tablespoons lime juice

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. You will need to do them in batches. Transfer the tomatoes to a sink or tub filled with cold water.

Peel the tomatoes, and chop them coarsely. Layer them in a large strainer - such as comes in a set for cooking spaghetti - with the salt. I try to use about 4 tablespoons, but a bit more is okay. Much of it will run out with the water. Let the tomatoes drain for several hours to overnight, in a cool spot (but not in the fridge.) Don't forget to keep them a little raised from the bottom of whatever pot you strain them into, so they are not sitting in their own water.

When you are ready to proceed, put the canning jars into a large canner with water to cover them by one inch at least, and bring to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes. If your water is very hard, add a shot of vinegar to the water to prevent lime build-up on the jars.

Meanwhile, peel and chop the onions, de-stem and deseed the Jalapeños (wear gloves!) and other green peppers, and peel and mince the garlic. Squeeze the juice from the limes and set it aside.

Take the strained tomatoes, and chop them to the texture you would like - a food processor is fine for this. Mix them with the chopped onions, garlic, and chiles in a large canning kettle or other large, deep pot. Chop the cilantro and mix it in, along with the ground cumin seed.

Mix the tomato paste with a cupful of the salsa, until it is lump-free. Mix it into the pot of salsa. Taste the salsa, and add some salt if you think it needs some more. Bring the salsa to a boil.

Lift the sterilized jars from the boiling water bath and empty them. Half should be emptied into the sink, and half should be emptied back into the pot to keep the boiling water level up.

Add three tablespoons of lime juice to each jar. Fill each jar with salsa, to within 1 cm of the rims. Wipe the rims with a clean paper towel dipped in the boiling water, and seal according the manufacturers directions - i.e by using lids and rims boiled for 5 minutes.

Return the jars to the boiling water bath and boil them for 20 minutes, well covered in water. It will most likely be necessary to do this in 2 batches; put as many into the canner as will fit, when they come out put in the next batch of jars to be sterilized while you fill the first set. Take them out and fill them as the first set of filled jars is being processed.

Remove from the water bath, allow to cool, check seals and label the jars with the date and batch number.

200 comments:

Kevin said...

That does sound like a lot of work! But it should be worth it as you will have home made salsa to enjoy for a long time.

Melissa said...

My husband and I made this salsa with all fresh ingredients from our garden and it was delicious. This was our first time canning and it went extremely well. We will certainly make this again next summer if not sooner. We may run out of the salsa faster than planned because it is so great!

jlysne said...

I'm confused about 8 quarts. Is that chopped or whole?

Ferdzy said...

That would be whole. Tomatoes are generally sold in baskets of so-many quarts, and 8 quarts is also equal to a quarter of a bushel. Keep in mind these are Imperial measurements; U.S. measurements are different.

There is a good conversion table here: http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/units/volume.htm

amyd said...

I don't have a boil bath canner. How long and at what pressure would you process this?

Ferdzy said...

amyd, if you have a pressure canner you can use it to do regular boiling water canning instead of pressure canning if you prefer. Just don't seal the lid to bring the pressure up. Instead, place the lid loosely on top and follow the times in the recipe.

If you want to pressure can it, I'm afraid I've done very little and couldn't suggest times.

rlowene said...

Looks like a great recipe but its to much! I don't want to can all my tomatoes as Salsa! Do you have a smaller batch version of this?

Ferdzy said...

rlowene, you could just cut it in half, no problem. That should give you about 7 jars, which should be what fits in the canner at one time.

Lynda said...

I've got lots of field tomatoes. Can I substitute? How much is that in chopped tomatoes? Also, what if I don't want the spice?

Ferdzy said...

Lynda, yes you could use field tomatoes. They tend to be more watery than romas, so I would be inclined to add an extra quart of tomatoes.

As for the spices, yes you can reduce them or leave them out. Just don't change the amount of lime juice. That has to stay.

Lynda said...

Thanks! I think I'll keep in the mild green chilies, and add some green peppers in place of the jalapenos. I want to do one mild and one spicy. This is the prettiest canned salsa I have seen yet! I'll let you know how mine works out!
~from Hythe, Alberta

Ferdzy said...

Please do, Lynda, I'd like to hear. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Can you heat and seal the jars in the oven, rather than in boiling water?

Ferdzy said...

Jennifer, no. That method of canning was found to be unsafe a good 50 years ago. Please don't!

Lynda said...

Although I do believe you can sterilize the jars before use in that way, right? Wash them, rinse them, put them in a 225 degree oven for at least 10 minutes, then keep warm until use.

Ruby said...

Hi:
I'm so excited to find a recipe that has lime juice! and the amount so exact for each jar! brilliant! I know I'm cheating but I want to make a quick jarred salsa for my friend and plan on using canned (chopped) tomatoes for the first small batch. How many cans for 1/2 your batch? and do i drain the tomatoes? Also i wanted to add chipotle paste instead of the green chilies but wondered if you'd recommend how to do that? thanks so much! When I have more time, I'll be buying romas fresh!
ruby

Ruby said...

can i substitute leeks for onion? i want a milder under flavour because of the chipotle

Ferdzy said...

Lynda, I don't think that's recommended because ovens may not be evenly hot, but I'm not sure about that. I know processing the FILLED JARS must absolutely not be done in the oven, so I figure if you're going to bring that big pot of water up to a boil anyway, you might as well do your sterilizing there.

Ruby, I've always used fresh tomatoes so I could not tell you how many cans to use. It doesn't strike me as a very economical way to do it either. Yes, they would have to be strained, or the salsa would be very soupy. My suggestion is that you make a very small, scaled-down batch using the changes you want to make, and only make one or two jars of it. Don't can it at all, just keep it in the fridge and eat it fresh. It will keep for a week or so that way. I would worry that the amount of changes you want to make might drop the level of acidity too low for safe canning.

Lynda said...

From KraftCanada.com:"You can pre-sterilize jars & lids by using one of two methods:

1. Sterilize all jars, lids and filling equipment in a 225ºF oven for 10 minutes, then keep in the oven, with heat turned off, until needed so they stay warm.
2. Sterilize all jars, lids and filling equipment in boiling water for 15 minutes and keep warm."

Interesting comment about oven temps though! An oven thermometer should help with that.

Ruby said...

thanks Ferdzy - i did buy some fresh tomatoes today - about 6.4 kg, which i have no idea how to convert to quarts? since most romas can be about the same size can you recommend (ballpark) how many romas that might be? I did do a batch of salsa already without the canning process but we couldn't eat it fast enough. The problem in Ontario right now is because of the damp weather and lack of sun our tomatoes aren't very ripe or nice, hence the cans. some of my tomatoes will be slightly underipe but not sure what I can do about it except cook the mixture longer. Ruby

Ruby said...

I emailed my wife to ask her if she knew how to do the conversion, since I bought the romas by the kilo, not the quart. Not sure if this helps anyone but here is her response.
"The average accepted weight of a bushel of tomatoes is 53 pounds. This can vary depending upon the type/size/weight of the differing tomatoes, but generally 53 pounds is the US agricultural accepted weight. There are 32 dry quarts in a bushel, so divide 53 by 32 and you get about 1.66 pounds of tomatoes in a quart. "

Again, depending upon the tomato (if you are using Roma, this will be okay), for 8 quarts of tomatoes you would buy 13 1/4 pounds of tomatoes.

This works out to be 6.0 kg of tomatoes = +/- 8 quarts.
thanks again Ferdzy for your site!

Ferdzy said...

Ruby, glad you got that figured out, and thatnks for posting it. I know other people wonder about the quart measurements too.

I'm hoping that since it's been warmer and drier for the last few weeks that we will start getting some decent tomatoes soon. I haven't started canning anything with tomatoes yet. I figure there will be plenty of tomatoes in September and hopefully the days will not be too hot as well.

Cole and Mindy Smith said...

Hi...My name is Mindy, and I am loving this canning recipe! I have a BOATLOAD of cherry tomatoes and am wondering if you think these will work. Let me know!

-Sydney- said...

I can't wait to try this! What would you say is the heat rating on this salsa (mild, med, hot) as outlined in the recipe?

Scott and Lindsey Anderson said...

Are green chilies the the same as green peppers or are they totally different? And I will be using field tomatoes so do I keep all the other vegetable proportions the same and add more tomatoes? Thanks (first time canner!)

Ferdzy said...

Mindy, cherry tomatoes should be okay, as long as they are fairly acidic. If they are really, really sweet and mild they may not be acidic enough for canning. If you added an extra tablespoon of lime I *think* you would be safe, but not that I am not guaranteeing anything!

Sydney, this is quite mild, at least if you use Ontario-grown jalapenos. They do vary, both by the strain being grown and they are hotter when grown in hot weather. If you want it to be hot, you should replace a few of the jalapenos with scotch bonnet or habaneros. Swap out one jalapeno for each hotter chile you want to add.

Scott and Lindsey, yes you could use green bell peppers as your mild green chiles. You could use others as well. Try an Anaheim type, or banana, or italian frying type chiles. That's the kind I generally use. They are easy to find (in a few weeks from now.) Green bell peppers are the least "authentic" of the pepper listed here, so I would suggest one of the others if you can get them. But if you like green bell peppers, there's nothing wrong with using them. Good luck with your canning!


By they way, thanks everyone for your comments and questions.

Melissa said...

Can I freeze my green peppers? I already chopped them and was planning on making salsa tomorrow but now have to leave town for a few days.

Ferdzy said...

Melissa, I don't know, I've never done it. A quick google suggests that people do freeze them.

They may end up being a bit softer than they would be otherwise, but probably okay apart from that.

curlgd2 said...

I need some help this year, We are 2 families that are canning salsa for the 3rd time, and every year we seem to double the recipe. This year we have over 80 Lbs. of slicing tomatoes, and I've lost my recipe. Your recipe is pretty close to my old one except I put lemon juice in the salsa mix and bring to a boil.
problem is I used cups instead of quarts I have to figure out cups of chopped tomatoes to lemon or lime juice. Can you help with that conversion?
Gayle

Ferdzy said...

curlgd2, I have to say I am not completely sure. Technically, there are 4 cups in a quart. My guess is that you could use that measurement and be reasonably close.

In fact, I would think if you bought, for example, a six-quart basket of tomatoes, you would not get as much as 24 cups, because once chopped the tomatoes would be more compact. On the other hand they're generally piled up reasonably high, so maybe...

sorry I can't be more helpful.

riggijyd said...

Hi, This sounds awesome i will be trying it, but i have a question..Bet you never would have thought so many if us would ask questions..lol anyway here goes. I make Bruschetta, and i was wondering if i could can it same as you do your salsa. I tryed it last yr but it tasted horrible afterwards im thinking becoz of the vinegar? i use balsalmic, an red wine vinegar, any suggestions? i have looked online for recipes to do it, with no results... Thanks, Liz

Ferdzy said...

Riggijyd, I have never canned anything like that and I'm afraid I haven't got any suggestions. Sorry!

strawberry1231 said...

Hi. I want to use this awesome recipe. But...I just got a bucket of garden fresh shallots & want to use them in place of onions. Their size is about 2 shallots to 1 onion. I would use 12 shallots and still use the same amount of garlic as your recipe. What do you think?

Ferdzy said...

Strawberry1231, I think that would be okay.

Rya said...

Hi

I am just making your salsa now and it looks and smells great!!!
However I am wondering your opinion on another canning project I did. I have canned 28q of tomatoes the same way I canned them last year( they turned out good), the problem is I was told the recipe from a friend. Pack tomatoes in jars , 1 Tbs lemon juice, salt and i prossesd for 45-50 min. Do you think the tomatoes are doomed? What do I do??

Ferdzy said...

Rya, you don't say what size jars you used - I am going to assume they were 1 litre jars. 1 tablespoon lemon juice is a little skimpy; I use 2, and also boil for 45 minutes. However, you are *likely* fine. If you used paste tomatoes designed for canning, they are probably acidic enough to can without lemon juice. Tomatoes in general are on the edge of what's acidic enough to boiling-water process safely. The lemon juice is just insurance to make sure that they are on the right side of the edge.

If you are really nervous about it you could try testing with litmus paper. pH must be 4.6 or lower.

Rya said...

Ok that sounds good........... but I left out the fact I used the cold pack recipe....... But if I test them before we eat them will that be ok???

Ferdzy said...

Rya, oh. I'm starting to think that there are enough variables here that you might want to talk to someone more trained than me on this subject.

If you are in Canada, try Bernardins website, http://www.homecanning.com/can/ALContact.asp

If you are in the US, try the Ball/Kerr hotline, 1-800-240-3340.

Hollie said...

I have a lot of Roma tomatoes in my freezer from last year..do you think they could be used for salsa, or would they be too watery/bland?

They tend to turn to mush when defrosted & have only used them in stews/soups thus far.

Burgett Baby said...

Hello, I LOOOVE this recipe! I used it last year and it was a favorite by everyone who tried it. I do have a question though, at what elevation is your canning time based on?

Ferdzy said...

Hollie, I wouldn't use the frozen tomatoes. Keep them for soups and stews.

Burgett Baby, glad to hear the good report! This is for canning at low levels. The highest peak in Southern Ontario is 578m and that's in Algonquin Park - Most of southern Ontario is nowhere near that. If you are somewhere else, you may have to adjust the time.

HLMP said...

I really like this recipe due to the sweating of the tomatoes and the use of lime juice. I'm planning to try it within the next week.

One adjustment I'm thinking about making - I'm planning on leaving the skins on the tomatoes rather than peeling them (I find peeling too time consuming). Have you tried it without peeling in the past?

Let me know if you'd like to hear about the results. And thanks for the great recipe!

karen said...

i live in ohio. can i use same measurements and same cooking times also can i sub green beans for peppers?

Ferdzy said...

HLMOP; I haven't tried it with the skins, I admit to being definitely anti-skin, although you can leave them if you want. Sure, I'd like to hear what you think.

Karen, yes, I think American and British quarts, in this context are close enough to work. However, I would not use the beans. I'm pretty sure they are lower acid than peppers. There are a lot of different peppers out there, and if you look you should be able to find a variety you like.

LJH said...

Good Morning, Ferdzy,
Thank you so much for a great salsa recipe. I've processed 2 batches already and plan to work another this week. I have a question: Can I use US quart jars to process if I double the amount of lime juice and increase the process time?

Ferdzy said...

LJH, yes you could. Time should be 45 minutes. Glad you are liking it!

bunnyrock73 said...

Hey there--recipe looks delicious! I'm wondering about the tomato paste; can that be omitted? Would it just make for a chunkier salsa?

Ferdzy said...

Bunnyrock73, I would not be inclined to omit it. It would make the salsa considerably more watery, and it's already quite thin.

Also, the tomato paste adds to the acidity of this recipe for safe canning. I'm not sure what effect leaving it out would have.

Melisse said...

so glad to see your salsa does not have vinegar!! so excited to try it. a few questions:
1. I have read elsewhere that you have to use bottled lemon/lime juice b/c the acidity varies in fresh lemon/limes?? does this recipe use fresh or bottled?
2. about the tomatoes: when the 8qts are chopped do they fill your spaghetti strainer to the top?
3. my onions are HUGE, do you know about how many cups of onions it is?
Thank you for all your help!

Ferdzy said...

Melisse, I'm not sure how they fill it. I've got a couple, that are different sizes.

Canned lime juice is no doubt better than fresh lime juice, from the safety point of view, although I have been known to live dangerously and use fresh.

I think I would expect a large onion to be about a cup to a cup and a third once diced. Say about 7 or 8 cups total.

Trish said...

I LOVE THIS RECIPE!!!

I have made 6 half batches, since an entire batch won't fit in my large pot :-) I used 12 c peeled, completely drained/deseeded, food processed PLUM tomatoes (they were HUGE this year) and following the recipe exactly this made almost 10 pints...so a full batch would make approx 20 pints. For a uber hot batch I did substitute the 1 lb jalapenos for 4 LARGE habeneros plus 1 large diced green pepper. AMAZING!! Oh, when I used the field tomatoes (slicers) it took about !40 lbs! to make enough for 2 half batches...that's why I went to the plum tomatoes. I saved all the juice, skimmed off the water, and froze for soup this winter :-)
Thanks again...this is better then any of the other recipes I have used....especially after canning.

Spokane, Wa, USA

Ferdzy said...

Trish, glad to hear you like it so much!

Megan said...

i've never tried canning - but have you ever tried to freeze the salsa??

cynthia said...

Thank you for this recipe! So excited to use lime instead of vinegar!!
So can I use just the reg powdered spice "Cumin" or must it be ground seed???

Trish said...

Last year I tried freezing the salsa--this caused very poor results. Evidently when you freeze the chopped tomatoes the water "separates" from the tomatoes leaving a water layer at the bottom of the container. The salsa was very runny after the freezing--I strongly recommend canning salsa to preserve it. I know that canning "seems" like a lot of work--but after you spend all this time making this wonderful salsa the canning part is actually very short, and kinda fun!! *wink*

Ferdzy said...

Megan, I've never tried freezing it. Guess I won't - thanks for that info, Trish!

Cynthia, you can use regular ground cumin - just make sure it is fresh. That's why I prefer to grind it myself.

Trish said...

I need to correct my previous suggestion when substituting the habeneros. I used 4 LARGE habeneros per half batch plus a LARGE green pepper (diced)...so that would be 8 LARGE for a full batch plus 2 LARGE green peppers (diced). I used the food processor for all the garlic, hot peppers (including seeds), and drained tomatoes...and diced the onions, mild peppers, and cilantro. This made very good results.

Erica said...

My husband and I got everything ready for the salsa. When I went to go read the recipe it said to peel the jalapenos. We missed that part. What is this gonna do to the salsa? How do you peel jalapenos?

Trish said...

Only peel the tomatoes...you know, dip in simmering water, 30-45 seconds, plunge in cold water, strip the peels off. If you don't do this, then when you cook your salsa all the peels will separate from the tomato and you'll have all these "diced peels" floating in you sauce--ICK! Peels don't separate from any of the other vege's :-)

Oh...for the Canadian FYI--here in the State we buy our tomatoes by the pound, so your references to "baskets" confuses us!

Ferdzy said...

Sorry Erica, that was a typo. I'll fix it. Trish is right, de-seeding will be quite sufficient for the jalapenos.

Trish, seriously? Even at Farmers Markets? That's just bizarre. I mean, they'll sell you tomatoes by the pound (or kilo) at the grocery store if you just want a couple, but that just doesn't seem practical when you want a few quarts, never mind a bushel. What size scale would you have to have?

Trish said...

Two minutes later I'm still giggling :-) Yes, all of our produce is either sold by the piece (bunches/lettuce/ears of corn)or by the pound, and until using this website I never questioned that--obviously it's different up there. Good to know!

Even at the Farmers Markets the tomatoes are by the pound--I guess we like to "know" exactly how much we are getting. A box could or could not be full--makes us suspicious *wink*

We went and picked our own tomatoes,apricots, and cherries this year...each time the bag inside of the bucket was pulled out and weight individually--the scales go to 30 lbs. I also arranged for 40 lbs of tomatoes to be ready for me at a local farmers market--I still don't know if I really got 40 lbs?!

Now you "know" why we had so many questions :-) BTW...I'm really enjoying this site and all the ideas I have gleaned here...keep it up!

LJH said...

If you use fresh ground cumin instead of grinding your own, would you have to adjust the amount to less than 1/4cup?
Eventhough I've processed 3 batches of this wonderful salsa I am still unsure about the amount of chopped drained tomatoes. The weight measure vs quarts helped but when I look at the amount in your pictures I feel that mine was maybe not enough. Will the amount of lime juice keep the ph correct for safety if I was short on tomatoes?

Ferdzy said...

LJH, the amounts of cumin could be less, but you can adjust it according to your taste.

The amount of tomatoes is probably okay. We had a terrible tomato crop here this year, and I noticed I'm getting much more um, level measurements when I buy them. I probably was putting in more than 8 quarts the last few years as my baskets had been generously filled, unlike this year.

However, the proportions were calculated for 8 quarts, so if you are using a more precisely measured quantity of tomatoes, you should still be okay. Hope this helps.

deb said...

can you use lemon juice instead of lime juice

Ferdzy said...

Deb, yes that should be fine.

maggiewk said...

Have you ever used canned tomatoes instead of fresh? Also, can you add the lime juice to the pot of salsa instead of in each jar? Thank you!

Ferdzy said...

Maggie, thanks for commenting.

I have never used canned tomatoes. You would need a fairly ridiculous number of cans, I would think, and if something is already canned, why can it again?

Nor would I mix the lime juice into the whole batch - the point is to make sure that each jar is sufficiently acidic, which might not happen if the salsa was not well enough mixed.

ndakotadale said...

We have made salsa for about 6 or seven years now and have never added lemon or lime juice and have never had any problems. But I was wondering what problems could arise and how you would know. We have never used Jalpenos we have always used just cayenne pepper I just add it to taste as I am boiling tomatoes. I can control the heat a little better that way. We add bell peppers onions and garlic.

Ferdzy said...

Ndakotadale;

In order to do boilng water canning foods must have a certain level of acidity for safety. If they do not have that level of acidity, they must be pressure canned.

Tomatoes are on the edge of what is considered to have a safe level of acidity, and the level varies from variety to variety, and most other vegetables are even less acidic. Thus, some form of acid must be added to tomatoes or mixtures of tomatoes and other vegetables (which is what salsa is) to reach the correct level of acidity. This acid will generally consist of either vinegar or lemon or lime juice.

If you fail to make your salsa or other material to be boiling-water canned sufficiently acidic, the possibility exists that botulism, a form of bacteria, may survive in the food. If it was present and does survive, it can cause paralysis and death. Unfortunately, it is tasteless and odourless, so the only way to be sure it isn't there is to follow safe canning proceedures. You may eat foods without sufficient acidity to destroy the bacteria for years, because it wasn't present. But the trouble is, you can't know whether it is there or not. It only takes a little extra effort to ensure that it is not, and that your canned foods can be eaten with complete confidence.

Cayenne is fine to add heat, it won't change the balance of acidity nearly as much as fresh vegetables will.

I can't comment otherwise on your recipe, except to say that if it came from a trusted source AND CONTAINS ADDITIONAL ACID in the form of vinegar, etc, it should be okay. Otherwise, I'd reconsider about using it.

I hope this helps.

Sue said...

I make a salsa with all fresh vegetables and canned tomatoes. I've always eaten it fresh and never canned it before but I'd like to try. My recipe does not call for it to be cooked at all. Can I put it into the jars cold then do the normal hot water bath to seal the jars? This if my first canning experience!

Ferdzy said...

Sue; if you put the salsa into jars cold and then put them directly into boiling water the jars will break. Trust me on this.

If you put them into jars cold then put them into cold water, then bring the cold water up to a boil, then start counting the canning time that would work.

However, it will take more time. The point in the recipe of heating the salsa before canning is so that it doesn't go into the boiling water bath cold and risk breaking the jars; it's going to get cooked during the processing time regardless. You don't have to really cook it before canning it; it just has to be boiling hot so that the jars don't break. Hope this helps.

Sue said...

Wouldn't this change the entire consistency of the vegetables? My salsa is so good because of the vegetables freshness and crunchiness. What is the shelf-life of the salsa if not cooked or boiled?

Ferdzy said...

Sue; the shelf life would be a couple of days in the fridge if it is not boiling water canned, although in my opinion fresh salsa is best really fresh.

Heating is the whole purpose of canning. It raises the temperature to a point, and holds it there for long enough, to kill any micro-organisms present that would cause spoilage otherwise. It also heats the rubber seal, and expells air from the jar so it seals and forms an environment without oxygen, which also would cause spoilage if it was present.

Of course the finished product is not the same as a fresh, raw salsa - it can't be, or it wouldn't keep.

If you've never canned before, I really suggest you read up about the process in general at a site such as

http://www.homecanning.ca/

or

http://www.homecanning.com/

Canning isn't difficult, and it's really satisfying to open up a jar of your own making in the depths of winter. But it does require sticking to rules more than any other kind of cooking in order to be safe. You need to know and understand the rules before you start.

Good luck with this project; I hope this has been helpful and that you get good results with your canning.

myra said...

Thank God, finally someone who appreciates the fact that "real" salsa doesn't have vinegar in it. I have been making homemade salsa for years and I have always used lime juice. The recipe that I have is almost identical to yours, with the exception of the ground cumin and tomato paste. When I was in Mexico, my friend's mother was making this and she allowed me to take notes! Thanks again for this recipe.

MelissaV said...

My husband and I are very disappointed with this recipe. I don't know what your definition of a Tablespoon is in Canada, but in America, it is the equivalent to 3 Teaspoons. All we know is that 3 TABLESPOONS of lime juice per jar is a ridiculous amount and ruined our salsa! It tasted HORRIBLE! The lime overpowered every ingredient in the jar, which were all FRESH ingredients, with the Roma tomatoes, jalapenos, green peppers, red and white onions all coming from our garden. The cilantro was fresh from the market, and the garlic was, as well. We couldn't taste any of the other ingredients. All we could taste was lime. My husband actually gagged and spit it out. All the folks raving about this recipe, could you please explain to me what it is exactly you are raving about??!! I can't figure it out..

spokanetrish said...

When I made this salsa, the canning process took out nearly all the lime flavor...I am so sorry you were disappointed! We liked this recipes because it's not a "tomato sauce" type salsa like Pace or Ortega, but a fresh style, which is very difficult to replicate if canning for winter. I made 6 half-batches last summer, and everyone who has tasted it thought it was wonderful--the men in my family liked it so much that they OFFERED to peel more tomatoes, and bragged to all our salsa lovers.

Ultimately, when canning, you must have adequate acid to prevent spoilage...so you choose between lemon, lime, or vinegar, take your pick. We do not like the vinegar, and lime is traditional in salsa...lime was a great choice.

Ferdzy said...

Melissa, I'm sorry you didn't like the salsa. I know that's a lot of time and work to be disappointed.

Still if you just made it, let it sit for a month before opening another jar. I've heard people say that they tasted it going into the jar and were worried by how strong the lemon and salt were, but the flavours blended and mellowed while it sat and then they liked it fine.

Also, the sad truth is there is no recipe that will suit everyone. People do have different tastes, and there's nothing wrong with that. It is frustrating though, when you are the odd one out.

Parsley said...

I am trying salsa for the first time this year and I HATE the viniger. Yours sounds GREAT but all the measurments are really messing me up when I read all the comments. I live in Nevada so how much do I have to change your recipe for it to work for me??

Ferdzy said...

Parsley, according to Ruby's comments earlier in the thread the amount of tomatoes by weight should be 12 pounds. The rest of the ingredients should be more straightforward, I hope.

Good luck with the salsa.

Lisa said...

Do the peppers have to be de-seeded. I'd prefer to leave the seeds in for an extra kick, but I obviously don't want to mess with the acidity of the salsa by doing so.

Ferdzy said...

Lisa, it should be fine to leave in the seeds.

Parsley said...

Thanks for the respose, Also If I do field tomatoes would you peel them before you chop them? or do you just leave the skins on in this receipe? Also is the jars you use to can quart jars here in the US? if so it is 3 TBLS of Lime juice in that little jar?

Parsley said...

Ferdzy... I meant pint jar not quart jar on the last. Sorry your scale ratio wesbite says that 500 ml is .88 pints, so that is not quite? I am not sure what jar to use or what I am doing wrong. Sorry I know I am a ditz. That and I have 1 month left of pregnancy and all sane thoughts seam to leave my head :)

stasia said...

I've been using a bit less lemon/lime juice per pint jar in salsas for years now, am I just flirting with danger? I use an overflowing tablespoon per jar. It sure tastes pretty acidic, but no one's keeled over yet. I also process the jars a bit longer, say 5-10 minutes. Am i just being stupid?? I do agree, though. Vinegar wrecks salsa. It may make for a great floor scrub, tho.

susan lennox said...

I am going to try your canned salsa...seeing as you are Canadian ! I am from Manitoba and now have lived near Chicago for 24 yrs. I still love my homeland very much. Did you get chickens yet like you wanted to? We would love to get a small farm. Any good farms for sale in Ontario?

Ferdzy said...

Susan, I hope you like it. No chickens; I've got too much else going on at the moment and realistically probably next year too.

As for farms! I think everything is way overpriced at the moment. Perhaps not for too much longer though.

julees said...

I wish someone would figure out how many cups diced or how many tomatoes by counting them to make this easier if someone figures this out please post. Thanks!

spokanetrish said...

This is how I worked out Ferdzy's ingredients...this was BEFORE he worked so hard to convert for us American's :-}

12 c. prepared tomatoes--peeled, de-seeded, DRAINED, and chopped or food
processed. I prefer Romas as they have less liquid--use what you have
2T pickling salt (table salt will make salsa cloudy)
3 large onions--chopped
2-3 heads garlic--chopped or food processed
1/2 lb. jalapenos--chopped or food processed (4 lg habeneros for UBER HOT!)
6 large mild chillies or 3 large green bell peppers--chopped
1 1/2 c. minced cilantro
1/2-3/4 of small can of tomato paste
Lime Juice--bottled
10 pint jars, lids, and rings
Canning pot

then follow his instructions...I had fantastic success!

CB and said...

Did this happen to anyone? I put the lime juice in first and then added the salsa. When I put the jar into the water bath, the bottom broke off of it. In hindsight, I think that the lime juice was just cool enough to cause this to happen. I had just taken the hot jar out of the oven at 225.

CB and said...

FYI: I added the lime juice to the jars first and then added the salsa. when I put it in the water bath the bottom broke off. I think that the cooler lime juice was just enough to cause the break. The jars came from a hot oven and the salsa was boiling. I'll be mixing it better from here on out.

Ferdzy said...

CB, I've had that happen with other things, not this. I guess I don't quite move fast enough and my limes are always at room temperature. But yes, it's important in any canning to avoid thermal shock, i.e. putting something cold in something hot. Sorry to hear about your problem, that's extremely exasperating, I know.

Mindy said...

I was so glad to find a recipe with lime, but am totally confused about measurements after reading the comments! I am in the U.S. and want to use pint jars instead of quarts. Do you know how much lime I should use? I'm canning tomorrow (well, later today after the trouble I've had getting this to post)so, am hoping you'll see this in the morning!

Ferdzy said...

Mindy, just cut the lime in half, i.e. 1 1/2 tablespoons. American & Canadian quarts/pints are not so different that you need to worry. Good luck with your canning.

Keelie said...

Do you think that I could char the tomatoes in a cast iron pan instead of blanching and peeling them for more of a fire-roasted effect? I was planning on then processing them to the desired consistency and allowing them to drain before proceeding with the recipe. If I were to do this would I need to make any other adjustments?

Ferdzy said...

Keelie, I think you could... I would want to do it outside though. There will be smoke! You might want to try a small batch of tomatoes before you get started just to make sure it does work.

Jenny said...

I have canned a batch, it looks great. However, wondering about the acidity issue as I used a "pink" tomato variety that has a lower acid content (a friend grew them and gave me a bunch.) Obviously I didn't read enough posts about the need for acid content before canning :(
I followed all other ingredients and procedures closely. Do you think I'm okay? I don't want to feel paranoid when we eat it. Thoughts???

Ferdzy said...

Jenny, you should be fine. The whole point of adding and acid such as lemon juice or vinegar is to cover the fact that most people don't know the acidity level of the tomatoes they use. Some tomatoes naturally have enough acid to be safe to can without adding anything. Others don't. Since you likely can't know where that line falls, the practice is to add enough acid to allow even low-acid tomatoes to be safe.

In 25 words or less; go ahead. You're fine.

Dawn said...

Hi there. I am a whimp when it comes to hot stuff. How hot would you say this reciipe is. Would it be compared to a hot or mild salsa sold in the stores. I'm looking for mild so if this recipe is hot how can I make a mild one?

Ferdzy said...

Dawn, it's always been pretty mild for me but it will depend on how hot the jalapenos are. If you want to be sure it isn't hot at all you can replace them with an equal volume of any pepper known to be mild, such as sweet banana or cubanelles.

laura said...

okay. i think i'm ready to try this. i need 12 cups (measured after preparing) tomatoes? and 3 not 6 tbsp lime per american qt (or 1 1/2 pt). the lime stated above seemed more like 3 per pt, but after reading toward the end, was i mistaken? i know acidity level is VERY important to get right. i don't want to kill anyone:)

Ferdzy said...

Laura, there are 946 millilitres in an American quart, or just shy of a litre (1000 millilitres). So yes, you actually need 5 1/2 to 6 tablespoons lime juice per quart.

12 cups is way too low. 8 (Canadian) quarts are 32 cups. That's before the tomatoes are peeled, chopped and drained, so they will pack down a fair bit from there, but I can't imagine only 12 cups.

I don't know why Americans can't sell tomatoes by the 6 quart basket or quarter bushel like sensible people, LOL.

Connie said...

With regards to the garlic. Do we use whole heads or just cloves. Made a mistake once and used heads when they said heads and they really meant cloves.

Ferdzy said...

Connie, that is heads. Don't forget, it is getting divided amongst quite a lot of jars.

Saz said...

Didn't have any gloves last night, so I split the hot peppers, seeded them with a spoon and tossed them in the blender with a bit of the tomato and thought I was going to get away with it. Nope, still ended up with a couple of fingers burning for hours despite trying everything to wash them right away. After all that, the salsa is a bit mild. Next time, gloves and more peppers. I was chicken and only added about half what the recipe called for.

My old recipe used vinegar for the acid, this is so much better.

Sheila

Cathy said...

I would like to make this salsa for canning but would like to add fresh tomatillos. Do you have any ideas to modify this recipe?

Ferdzy said...

Cathy, tomatillo salsa is usually done a bit differently. I have a recipe for canning tomatillo salsa and I had intended to post it this year. However, my tomatillo crop failed... yeah, yeah; I know. I am truely embarrassed - can't even grow weeds.

However, I'll post it tomorrow. It just won't have any pictures.

Heidi Elyse said...

I am very excited to try this recipe. I do have a question though, is only the tomatoes amount in imperial or is the whole recipe? I am looking for US measurements, but I am thinking if the whole thing is imperial, I could just "pretend" that is in US and still cut it in half? Thanks!

Ferdzy said...

Heidi Elyse, the other ingredients are individual item, weight or cups, and the differences are not enough to worry about. Use the American measurements, you will be fine.

kgrindle said...

can you cut this recp. in half?

Ferdzy said...

Kgrindle, sure; you can cut the recipe in half.

Randi R said...

This salsa was so easy to make and AMAZING!!!!!! The flavors are spectacular. I can't wait to make it again! Thanks for sharing!!

mysticmichigan said...

hi all.....i am so excited to make this salsa ...looks and sounds great..love all the comments

so thank you to all

my question is ....about how many jalepeno's are in a pound....

Ferdzy said...

Mysticmichigan;

I wasn't sure so I looked it up... looks like it's about 20.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_Jalapeno_Peppers_make_one_pound

mysticmichigan said...

hi again....

forgot to ask.....i will be doing my salsa in pint jars....

so how much lime juice per pt jar do i add

thank you so much

Ferdzy said...

MysticMichigan, it's 3 tablespoons lime juice. A pint and 500 ml are very similar in size - not enough of a difference to worry about.

Kimber said...

Hi there, I just made this salsa tonight. When taste testing mine was quite salty. Will this go away? Also where and for how long do I store it before it is good to go? Thanks a bunch

Ferdzy said...

Kimber; unfortunately, if it has turned out salty that won't change. I'm afraid you will be best off to use it with other ingredients that are unsalted, and use a lighter hand with the salt if you make it again.

You can start eating it whenever you like! It's hard not to want to wait around and admire all that work, but you can start eating it whenever you feel like it.

mysticmichigan said...

if i were to use jelly jars when making this...for im the only one who eats it here...

how much lime juice per jelly jar

Ferdzy said...

Mysticmichigan, I would need to know what the size of a "jelly" jar is before I could say for sure. IF it's half a pint (1 cup) then just cut the amount for a pint in half - 1 1/2 tablespoons per jar.

Marilee said...

After salting the tomatoes, do you rinse them before going on with the recipe? I made a chow chow this weekend that called for letting my onions and tomatoes sit for 3 hours then rinsing them. I don't want salty salsa, but I want a bit.

Can't wait to try this!

Ferdzy said...

Marilee;

I don't rinse them. Most of the salt does run out with the water that the salt draws out of the tomatoes. Some will be left, however, and some will actually be absorbed by the tomatoes.

Do try not to use more than the 4 tablespoons total mentioned in the recipe. It may seem a bit sparse but it will be enough to draw out a lot of liquid and even if it all stayed in (but, see, it won't!) it would work out to just a bit more than a teaspoon per jar.

Good luck with your salsa.

Marilee said...

I made the salsa yesterday and I can't wait to try it. I am letting is sit awhile to let the flavors infuse. But man oh man did it smell delicious while cooking. And the lime juice? Wow, the best idea I have heard in a long time. Thanks, and I will let you know what I think after trying it.

Kathy said...

OK Ferdzy - Your have the recipe with exactly the ingredients I was looking for. Some way to can my fresh salsa. I will start it tomorrow and can on Thursday (10/6). Can't wait to try it.

One question...have you ever tried it adding fresh corn and/or black beans? I may do 1/2 my batch this way.

Ferdzy said...

Kathy, if you want to add corn or black beans to your salsa you MUST PRESSURE CAN it.

Boiling water canning can only be done with acidic foods. Corn and beans are both quite alkaline, and it would change the balance to add even a little.

Consequently, I have never added corn or beans and don't intend to.

I hope you do enjoy the salsa though.

Marilee said...

I couldn't wait. I tried the salsa yesterday and it was delicious. I know it will be even better later on. The cumin and lime juice make it more authentic to me. Being from CA I am a little picky with Mexican food.

Kathy said...

THANK YOU for the word on corn and beans.... I wonder if this gives me an excuse to buy a pressure canner or if I just have to do without? haha

Do you have other great recipes online?

Ferdzy said...

Kathy, you're welcome, and um, I have an entire blog full... I don't know about wonderful, but check it out:

http://seasonalontariofood.blogspot.com/

Kathy said...

OK - Thanks, I get it now! Sorry to look/sound like an idiot. I found the recipe via a google search and didn't realize the blog in which it appears is all yours. I will look around!

Darlene said...

I am confused. I have read all the blogs. On one 23, Aug. when asled about pint jars it says 1 1/2 T lime juice and yet on 21, Sept. it says 3T per pint. Please help!

Ferdzy said...

Darlene, sorry for the confusion.

3 tablespoons per pint is the correct figure - 473ml to the pint so close enough to the 500 ml jars called for in the recipe to go on with.

Grandma Mary said...

Oh my gosh, my daughter-in-law and I have been searching for a Salsa that we could can that did not have vinegar in it... I found it in your blog!!!
It was wonderful.
We have a large garden and are doing a lot of canning for our family. I think we found the web site to give us new and great recipes for our bounty.

Ferdzy said...

Grandma Mary, I'm very happy to hear you liked it.

d-_-b said...

i have a question regarding acidity in canning. i recently prepared 4 qts. of salsa using my own recipe assuming i could then bottle it directly. my wife, after doing some research, is concerned that the salsa will not hold properly unless i adhere to some tested recipes regarding acidity.

here are the ingredients:
5 lb 4 oz tomatoes (all varieties)
1 lb 12 oz onion (red & white)
5 oz jalapeno (roasted)
4 oz purple peppers (roasted)
2.5 oz purple peppers
3 oz fresh garlic
1 oz garlic (roasted)
2 oz green onions
.35 oz cilantro
2 tb salt
2 tb lime juice
1 tb granulated garlic

what do you think?

thanks in advance!
jamie

Ferdzy said...

Jamie;

I don't have the tables handy to work it out in detail anymore, however my immediate impression is that your recipe is indeed not sufficiently acidic to can.

I would suggest you also check in with one of the following:

If you are in Canada, try Bernardins website, http://www.homecanning.com/can/ALContact.asp

If you are in the US, try the Ball/Kerr hotline, 1-800-240-3340.

Maya said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe and for responding to so many comments!

I used your recipe as a guide for a half batch, but I left out the onions, cumin, mild chilies (substituting them for 4 - 1 inch size habaneros) and tomato paste. I added a cup of grapefruit juice to my batch - I didn't think that could hurt. I used a pressure canner that brought the temp to just over 240 degrees and processed for 20min.

Is this too many changes? How did you have your recipe tested?

Ferdzy said...

Maya, that's a lot of changes but since they almost all increased teh acidity I don't see a problem.

It's been many years since I devised this recipe, but I believe I used a chart of the acidity levels of different vegetables as well as comparisons to other recipes - a lot of research in other words.

Johnathan said...

I want to make this recipe this summer after we get a good bit of tomatoes, but i'm not firmiliar with some of your measurement's

I need to know how much 8 quart's of tomatoes are in cup's (precooked)

Please help! ANYONE in the US that made this in cups vs quarts of tomatoes?

Johnathan

Also if you need, you can email me jlewis229@gmail.com if you have us measurement's since we are so behind the times with our measurement's lol

spokanetrish said...

Jonathon...this is my version of THIS recipe...which is THE BEST CANNED SALSA EVER! And PlAN on making more then you "think" you will want, and it still won't last till spring :-)

12 c. prepared tomatoes--peeled, de-seeded, drained, and chopped or food processed. I prefer Romas as they have less liquid--use what you have
2T pickling salt (table salt will make salsa cloudy)
3 large onions--chopped
2-3 heads garlic--chopped or food processed
1/2 lb. jalapenos--chopped or food processed (4 lg habeneros for UBER HOT!)
6 large mild chillies or 3 large green/yellow bell peppers--chopped
1 1/2 c. minced cilantro
1/2-3/4 of small can of tomato paste
Lime Juice--bottled
10 pint jars, lids, and rings
Canning pot

Donna Phillips Hollibaugh said...

I love your salsa and have made two batches so far by myself! Lots of hard work! I noticed that Tricia made the comment in 2009 that we in the States buy our tomatoes by the pound. Well that may be true where she lives but down in the south where I am from and by the grace of God live, we buy ours by the pound, box, peck, and bushel! I also use a very large stew pot which is clearly marked in metric and "normal" measurements. So it was no problem reaching the 8qt mark on that pan. Hubs #3 says just looking at your website makes him hungry! Imagine his surprise when he comes home tonight to find another batch of salsa plus your Maple Peaches on the shelf! Thanks again! Don't be surprised if you get an onslaught of activity on here soon....I blog too! I will be mentioning you on my blog just as soon as I leave "tomato land". lol

Starla said...

I loved this recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing it... We didn't have a great crop this yr. for tomatoes But really thinkin bout gettin those Romano tom, You were talkin about. I would like to have plenty for the Holidays. And at the Rate my daughters goin, Will be out before Thanksgiving!!! Very Awesome, Thanks Again Starla From OK..

mama_mums said...

My husband told me this salsa makes Chi-Chi's look like ketchup! Thank you.. we love it!!

gunbob said...

after processing my sals has a clear liquid in the bottom of jar any ideas

gunbob said...

i have a clear liquid in the bottom of jars after water bath any ideas

Johnathan said...

Gunbob-

I didnt with my salsa but I did with my plain canned Tomatoes. All mine turned out to be was just water in the tomato sauce separated. After they sealed and cooled I just turned them upside down a few times and once it was all mixed again it was fine and didn't separate again. That is my thoughts but idk what else it could be. Did they seal? Follow directions exactly? If so it should be good.

Good luck!

Johnathan

Ferdzy said...

Gunbob, Jonathan has already answered he is right - it is not uncommon for canned tomato products to separate a bit. Just shake it up before opening, if it doesn't settle back out in storage.

I think this might be caused by the tomatoes not being as cooked as they could be, but since this recipe tries to keep the tomatoes from being highly cooked, the separation is a risk. It's purely a cosmetic problem.

626dch said...

Hi! I have yet to try your recipe. I was reading thru all the comments to make sure I take all the suggestions under advisement before starting. You said that you could use a cannner as a water bath, but do you know if it would change the salsa at all to use the canner as a canner even if I don't add corn and beans?
Also I live in MI and our open air farmers markets do sell products by the pint basket,quart"basket", 1/2 peck, etc. Sometime if you go to the fancy pick-ur-own farms they give us bags say for apples that are a peck or 1/2 peck. They may weigh it after but I have yet to be charged by the weight. We do have a "farmers market" store which is not a true farmers market and they charge by the lb as any other grocery store.

Ferdzy said...

626dch, I'm not completely clear what you are asking. You want to pressure can the salsa, yes? I don't feel really competent to answere that - you might want to try asking one of the resources listed a little higher up in the comments.

I have done my canning in a pressure canner without actually using the pressure part - just put the lid on loosely so it doesn't seal, and follow the times in the recipe.

Thanks for commenting.

joanna said...

The local grocer here did not have fresh green chilies...can I used canned? Or substitute them with Poblano peppers? Just using a few pepper instead of the 6 green chilies? Our growing season here this year was not very good, so my only option has been the local grocer.

Also how long in a the water bath canner should I boil for the elevation on 6600ft?

One more question, when using US quart size jars how much lime juice? Double it?

Thank you for your help.
I am looking forward to making this.

joanna said...

Oops forgot one more thing. I notice now on the ingredients list it states

6 large green chilies (peppers)

Now I am a bit confused on this are you referring to those wonderful green chilies in which you make chili with? Or are you referring to green bell peppers?

Ferdzy said...

Joanna, you can substitute whatever hot(ish) peppers you like for the jalapenos. I'd stick with fresh, I think canned would get soggy being canned again. For my milder green peppers I tend to use Cubanelles because that's about all I can grow here easily. If you can get get better peppers like poblanos, go for it. In total you are probably talking about 2 pounds of peppers.

I believe a U.S. quart is just a tad smaller than a litre, so yes if you are doing quarts double the lime juice.

I believe you need to add 15 minutes to the processing time, according the the guide at the Ball site:

http://www.freshpreserving.com/tools/reference/adjust.aspx

Colesmeister said...

I planned on using lemon juice, but forgot to put it in. Am I safe without it?

Wny Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wny Farmer said...

Please let me advocate for all of the local Northern farmers out there.. we DO sell fruit and vegetables by the basket! Our little saying is that REAL farmers (not hucksters) will never sell by the pound, because it is way too much work..lol. You can google your local farmers markets, we'd love for you to buy from us. Keep it local and Fresh! Know where your food comes from.


(steps off soapbox)

I love this blog, and love the recipes. I just made this salsa x4, and can't wait to eat this in the middle of winter!

Karen said...

This is by far the best tasting salsa I have ever had! Canning it is not as hard as it seems. I use a food processor to chop and it cuts the prep time way down. and allows for good drainage of the cut products. I made one batch already and it is half gone! Today I will make at least a double batch and pack it in quart jars.. pints are just not big enough!

Eleanor said...

Arrgh...just canned this, and failed to transcribe the recipe well before canning.

So, I cold-packed this (accidentally). I used extra lime juice, though, and I processed 35 minutes (salsa was boiling in jars when it was removed). Thoughts? Do I need to re-can all this, or do you think I can get away with it?

Ferdzy said...

Eleanor, you are probably okay since you processed it for so long. I assume that was from when it came to a boil - you probably got mighty close to 20 minutes in there. But you are going to have to make that call...!

Colemeister, again you have to make that call. I would be leary, I have to admit.

And thanks to Wny Farmer and Karen for your kind comments.

Johnathan said...

OK so I left my commenet a month or two back saying I had finally canned my batch of this salsa. Well i tasted it when i canned it but it was just OK, and I thought it had too much of a cilantro taste. BUT we opened a can of it and WOW!!! This is THE BEST Salsa i have ever had! I am so proud to say I did this all by myself, first time canning by myself too! If you are doubting this recipe DO NOT! And it will NOT taste like it does right when it's cooked! Thanks for this recipe, it is amazing!

21 days said...

Wow, there are so many comments about this recipe. I've made 4 batches of this salsa and it was delicious while it was cooking, so I imagine it will be amazing in a month or so. About the commenter who said it tasted too much of lime juice- I wonder if they were using lime juice *concentrate* rather than regular bottled lime juice. Someone told me to be sure of what the recipe asked for because sometimes recipes call for concentrate and sometimes just juice. Just a thought. Thanks for the recipe!

Becky said...

I'm trying this salsa today, I'm being over run with tomatoes and green peppers. So we went to the Farmers Market this week and got the garlic and jalapeno's so excited to see how it turns out!

Laurie said...

Do you use fresh lime juice or bottled? I've seen a few comments about bottled. My preference would be fresh. Does it matter?

Johnathan said...

Laurie-

I used bottled lime juice & mine turned out just great! And I mean GREAT! I love this salsa lol

SpokaneDawn said...

SpokaneTrish... I am also from Spokane.. LOL... anyway... you left cumin out of your converted recipe.. but I greatly appreciate your conversions!!! Thank you so much! I am off to hack up the onions right now!

SpokaneDawn said...

I am in midst of making this and can't wait... I didn't get too much drainage from my tomatoes overnight.. is this normal or am I going to end up with a sloppy mess? I am going to quarter this recipe for lack of tomatoes and can't wait. SpokaneTrish, thank you for the conversions... next time you post tho add in the cumin, you left that out.... but I greatly appreciate the conversions you posted, thank you! I also am from spokane!

spokanetrish said...

SpokaneDawn...I left it out on purpose, and I didn't miss it at all. As for draining the tomatoes...did you salt them as Ferdzy suggested? Then again, if you are using the Roma's then you must expect much less liquid. Thanks for the nice comments :-)

Obviously I raised the "ire" of many American's on my comments on pounds vs. bushels :-) I live in the Pacific Northwest, and we have a lot of "you-pick" up here, and it's mostly by-the-pound--although apples can be had by the box. So many people were asking about pounds/cups that I thought I would let Ferdzy know why we had so many questions. Thank you for reminding me that American's are extremely diverse and OUTSPOKEN! hehe!

Thx again Ferdzy for the forum and the constant feedback!!

Craftythumbs said...

I've decided to try this recipe and do half a batch. So far I've bought 7 lbs of tomatoes. I figured since 8 quarts is about 13 lbs that 4 quarts would be around 7lbs. I've counted 20 tomatoes. I've drained the tomatoes and I have 8 cups (chopped and drained) These are hot house field tomatoes (no paste or romas were available)
I've got 7 "garden salsa peppers" that a coworker gave me from her garden. They are twice as long as jalapenos, long and slender. How many should I put in?
I was thinking of 2 medium onions, a bunch of cilantro (I love it), 1 green pepper, garlic, cumin, etc to taste.
Any help is appreciated, I'm canning tomorrow night.

HappyKathy said...

WOW!! This is the best salsa I have ever had. I brought a couple jars to work and the girls in the office all wanted to buy some jars off of me..which I refused!! My boyfriend said it was the best he ever had, my mother adores it, my daughter wants more and I have it every morning with my eggs...and this goes on and on...the recipe is perfect as it is. I wouldn't change a thing unless you adjust to your own taste maybe on the second batch you make. I'm making a second batch this weekend. Only have 5 jars out of 18 jars..and I made it this month!! So...enjoy it..it's awesome, taste so fresh compared to store bought, you will taste the difference right away..day and night!!

Kathy - Timmins, ON

Ferdzy said...

Craftythumbs, sorry I missed your comment! Probably too late, but you wanted about half a pound. I couldn`t tell you how many that would be.

And thank you everybody for your kind comments. Appreciated!

Maryt said...

Love this recipe! I had been looking for a salsa to can for a long time and this is it! Made it exactly the first time and everyone loved it. Second time around, I changed out half the jalapenos for seranos and it is now perfect! I have tomatoes draining as I type, for a third batch, using up the rest of my tomatoes.

Thanks so much for sharing.

rogin said...

This is what I did. I didn't realize that salsa canning had to be so specific.
25 cups of chopped , skinned, roma tomatoes, 12 cups of chopped red onion, approx. 450 grams of chopped jalapenos, 500 ml tomato paste, 1 cup cilantro, 3 large garlic heads, 6 red peppers, 450 ml lime juice (little salt, the cumin and less cilantro as I didn't have enough). IT made 18 500 ml jars. then brought to a boil, transferred to jars, water boiled in a normal pot for 20 mins. Do you think this will be OK? Thanks,

Sharon Jones said...

Are the tomatos ruined if they have been kept in the fridge?

Ferdzy said...

Sharon, I wouldn't eat them fresh, but I would think they'd be okay for canning. Not ideal, obviously, but okay.

spokanetrish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
spokanetrish said...

Greetings!

I was looking over the previous comments, mostly to see if there was any "new wisdom", and I saw that Ferdzy was questioning why my version calls for "12 cups prepared tomatoes"...I will try to clarify.

When he 1st posted his recipe called for "bushels" and was also in metric--there was untold discussion about converting to measurements those of us in the States could use (so entertaining!).

Here's Ferdzy's original post/recipe...
8 quarts plum tomatoes
pickling salt
6 large onions (red are good if you can get them)
2 to 3 heads of garlic
450 grams (1 pound) Jalapeño chiles
6 large mild green chiles (peppers)
2 1/2 cups minced cilantro
1/4 cup cumin seed, ground
1 156ml (5 1/2 ounce) can tomato paste
PER JAR (quart) 3 tablespoons lime juice

After purchasing the amount of tomatoes, and then processing them, then measured how much my "prepared" tomatoes yielded. The FIELD tomatoes yielded much less, because there was so much more juice and seeds, versus what I was left with after using Roma's. AND I was also working out how much a "half" batch would be, because that was what my 2.5 gallon pot would accommodate.

Here's my "1/2" recipe...
12 c. prepared tomatoes--peeled, de-seeded, drained, and chopped or food processed. I prefer Romas as they have less liquid--use what you have
2T pickling salt (table salt will make salsa cloudy)
3 large onions--chopped
2-3 heads garlic--chopped or food processed (we LOVE garlic)
1/2 lb. jalapenos--chopped or food processed (4 lg habeneros for UBER HOT!)
6 large mild chillies or 3 large green bell peppers--chopped
1 1/2 c. minced cilantro
1/2-3/4 of small can of tomato paste
Lime Juice--bottled-1.5 T per pint
10 pint jars, lids, and rings
***then follow Ferdzy's directions***

When you look at both recipes, next to each other, you can better see what I did. I spent quite a lot of time referring to the blogging and to the conversion table.

While Ferdy used quarts, I used pints--2 reasons. First, my jars are mostly pints from years of jam and relish canning. Secondly, I wanted to make both HOT and MILD versions, and I didn't want larger jars going to waste in the fridge. The happy accident was that as people asked for the salsa (kids, friends, co-workers) I could say I could only part with a pint--keeping more at home! Even then, it didn't last through to Spring!

Take care,
Trish in Spokane

Lisa said...

I'm still confused about the amount of lime juice to be used. I am from the US and will be making a full batch using pint jars. Do I use 3 TBSP or 1 1/2 TBSP per pint jar? I want to make sure I add enough but not too much. This will be my first time canning.

spokanetrish said...

Lisa--

Ferdzy's recipe called for 3 T lime juice per QUART. You want to put up PINTS, right? A pint is 1/2 a quart, so use 1/2 the lime juice. That's where I got the 1.5 T in my version...it was for pints. Hope this helps--ENJOY the salsa!

Lisa said...

Thanks Spokanetrish! I though in the thread of posts she listed it as a pint. I appreciate you clarifying it for me! I hate to add to much! :)

Connie Karlsson said...

I made this recipe last year to the raves of family and friends...getting the jars washed for another round this year! Thanks it is an awesome modern recipe!

Connie Karlsson said...

Great modern recipe! Tried it last year to the raves of family and friends. Made a ton and sold lots at my Church Bazzar! Going to buy some field tomatoes today for the 2012 batch.

veggie said...

I loved reading the comments on making salsa. I just started canning a few weeks ago making 3 varieties of cherry jam. About 28 half pints in total. Next I want to try making salsa and pasta sauce. I do not have a garden so I will need to purchase the tomatoes and peppers. I think I will start with a half batch of this salsa if I can figure out the amount of tomatoes needed in pounds.

Thanks for all the info shared here.

Sharon Nedved said...

If you are having problems with your jars braking when you are putting hot stuff in them place a butter knife in the jar before you fill it then fill jar remove knife and seal.

veggie said...

Okay...I bought about 7 lbs of Roma tomatoes today and a bunch of different peppers. Still not sure what ratio to use this recipe. A quarter of it??

spokanetrish said...

@ Veggie. I understand your dilemma...that's why I had to work out a recipe based on volume/measurements. The 1st time I got field tomatoes (slicers) and I lost so much to juice and seeds, it seemed the 40 lbs was 1/2 water! So the next time I did roms's (they were HUGE) and I had much less waste. So, 1st prepare your tomatoes (peeled, de-seeded, drained, and chopped or food
processed) and then measure to see whats left. Trust me, it will all make sense :-) See my version of this recipe above.

veggie said...

Thanks spokanirish. I still don't understand the ratio to cups/pounds/quarts of tomatoes. Obviously I know a quart is 4 cups...so is the OP using 32 cups of tomatoes?? Are these totals AFTER skinning and chopping?? How many pounds is that?? Lol. I saw a recipe somewhere else that said 8 cups was 4 lbs. If that is true then this recipe would use 16lbs. I might have to make a 1/3 of the recipe.

spokanetrish said...

12 c. prepared tomatoes--peeled, de-seeded, DRAINED, and chopped or food
processed. I prefer Romas as they have less liquid--use what you have
2T pickling salt (table salt will make salsa cloudy)
3 large onions--chopped
2-3 heads garlic--chopped or food processed
1/2 lb. jalapenos--chopped or food processed (4 lg habeneros for UBER HOT!)
6 large mild chillies or 3 large green bell peppers--chopped
1 1/2 c. minced cilantro
1/2-3/4 of small can of tomato paste
Lime Juice--bottled
10 pint jars, lids, and rings
Canning pot

then follow his instructions...3T lime for QUARTS, 1.5T for PINTS. I ommitted the CUMIN because I don't like it, but add if you choose. Did this help?

veggie said...

Thanks....i re-read through the comments again, a lot of conflicting info. Yes, I also saw your version. It would be helpful to have a fully converted recipe....but it is what it is. It is great that people share their experiences with others. I am going to try and conquer salsa tomorrow.

veggie said...

Okay, skinned, cut, and deseeded about 7 pounds of Roma tomatoes. I have about 10 cups of tomatoes before finely chopped now in a strainer with a little pickling salt. Based on my tomatoes I think I will use 1/3 of the original recipe with a few tweaks on the peppers.

This iis what I plan to use...... I think it should still follow necessary ratios for safety. Pllease comment if someone feels otherwise. Thanks!!

10 cups Roma tomatoes - skinned, deseeded, sliced, but not yet finely chopped.

1 1/4 T pickling salt

2 onions chopped.

1-2 heads of garlic

1/3 lb jalapeños (replacing some with hotter peppers)

1-2 lg mild chiles

1 green bell pepper

3 tsp ground cumin

1 T dried cilantro

1/2 can tomato paste

*****Lime juice (? Per pint) still unclear on amount per pint as I have read conflicting info on the blog.



spokanetrish said...

MORE CILANTRO! IT makes a HUGE difference on the flavor. My recipe, for 12 C prepared tomatoes calls for 1.5 C of cilantro...so 2T would be too little. If your afraid of that herb (my Gram was, she NEVER used it), trust all the previous posts of people who have made this recipe with Fredzy's cilantro--it's part of what makes it special :-)

spokanetrish said...

3T lime for QUARTS, 1.5T for PINTS.

The differing info comes from Fredzy putting up QUARTS, and others (including myself) putting up PINTS. IF YOU PUT UP PINTS, USE 1.5 T PER JAR :-)

Off for va-ca to the San Juan Islands, outside Seattle...TA TA!

veggie said...

I wasn't sure how dried cilantro converts to fresh. I have dry cilantro but have never used it before.

My tomatoes are draining right now.. I am not sure how many cups of finely chopped tomatoes I will end up with yet. Do you think my guess of 1/3 of the recipe is close?? I have 10 cups roughly of peeled, deseeded, and cut tomatoes right now. Thanks!!

veggie said...

Oh have fun!! enjoy!!

I saw that the original poster had 500ml jars which are similar to pints for me so i wasn't sure.

veggie said...

So I ended up with about 5 1/2 cups of chopped (food processed) tomatoes from my 10 cups of peeled, deseeded, and cut ones. This was over 7 lbs of Romaa. I mixed together all other ingredients and then added the tomatoes and I get about 9 1/2 cups total for everything. I have to cook this in batches as my largest NON aluminum pot is for my water bath. I am waiting for hubby to come home from work after a trip to the market for lime juice as a new bottle was bad due to an unsecure seal. this process is taking a lonnnggggg time for a small batch. I hope this stuff is good.

veggie said...

Oh ya...anyone have any ideas on what to do with some over food processed onions lol The last few pulses pulverized my onions. I put a small amount in the salsa after draining them and then did new onion.

veggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
valerie Jensen said...

Will leaving out the cilantro and cumin change the acidity?

Ferdzy said...

Valerie, that should be fine.

Frances Ranger said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe and the detailed instructions. I made a half batch for the first time a couple of weeks ago with tomatoes from our garden, and it is SO GOOD. Going to the market to buy tomatoes to make more because we're going to need enough to last the winter as well as for gifts. I used poblanos for the green chiles (along with the jalapenos). They were fantastic in terms of colour and flavour, but I might substitute one of them with something a little hotter to heat this next batch up a bit. Seriously great recipe.

Frances Ranger said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe and the detailed instructions. I made a half batch for the first time a couple of weeks ago with tomatoes from our garden, and it is SO GOOD. Going to the market to buy tomatoes to make more because we're going to need enough to last the winter as well as for gifts. I used poblanos for the green chiles (along with the jalapenos). They were fantastic in terms of colour and flavour, but I might substitute one of them with something a little hotter to heat this next batch up a bit. Seriously great recipe.

Ana Twitchell said...

Do I have to blanch the tomotoes first to remove the skin?

Ferdzy said...

Ana, yes. The instructions for that are in the first paragraph.

Ferdzy said...

I'm closing comments on this post Two hundred comments are more than enough to load. If you have a question, please read the comments many of them are asked and answered there.