Salsa Time

At this time of year, when the tomatoes are ripe, both Rhonda and Cathy get out their much-spattered recipe cards for their favorite salsa.  By preserving it now, there’s always fresh-tasting salsa on board for eating with taco chips but also to serve as a side for chicken, fish or South American-style beef cuts.  While salsa is pretty easy to make and preserve by canning, it’s also great eaten fresh, with or without cooking.  Another great thing about salsa is the recipe can be varied to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, and fruit like peaches is also a great base.


This recipe originally came from our friend Lori-Ann on Prince Edward Island but has evolved over the years.  The big amount on the left makes about 7 half-litre jars of preserved salsa.  The small amount on the right could serve a few friends enjoying drinks on the patio.  Use Roma tomatoes for a thicker salsa.


2.5 L                Roma tomatoes, fully ripe, diced                 500 ml

500 mL           Green peppers, diced                                   100 ml

250 mL           Hot banana peppers, diced (or to taste)    50 ml

500 mL           Yellow onion, diced                                       100 ml

500 mL           Zucchini or golden beets, grated                 100 ml

250 mL           Kernel corn                                                    50 ml

4 cloves          Garlic, minced                                                1 clove

15 mL             Ground cumin                                               3 ml

1                      7.5-oz can tomato paste                               —

250 mL           White vinegar                                                —

15 mL             Salt                                                                  3 ml

To taste          Cayenne pepper                                           To taste

250 mL           Chopped cilantro                                          25 ml


For preserving:  Mix all the ingredients together in a large Dutch oven or saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness is reached.  In the meantime, prepare jars, lids and rings by washing and then sterilizing in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Spoon hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1 cm head space, clean sealing edge, cover with lids and rings, tightening gently.  Process in the boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  Remove and let cool completely.  Make sure all the lids have sealed before storing.  (If a jar doesn’t seal, put it in the fridge and use first.)


For serving right away:  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Enjoy!


Note:  The vinegar is needed to acidify the preserved salsa so that it will safely block the growth of bacterial spores that release toxins.  Vinegar isn’t needed in the fresh recipe but if you’d like a little more zest, try adding 30 ml of apple cider vinegar.


Tips on home canning: