Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa

Like a lot of wanna-be foodies, I joined the sweet red pepper revolution in the 1990s and never looked back. Unfortunately, my CSA didn’t get the message and gives me 2 or 3 green peppers a week. They’re big, too—sometimes as much as a pound each. Sure, they’re nice on kabobs with pineapple, but what else can you do with them?

Faced with enough tomatoes to take a chance on, I decided to try a sweet pepper salsa. (I realize that this flies in the face of yesterday’s post pooh-poohing “raw” canned salsas, but since I don’t like green peppers to start with, I figured what’s to lose?) This version started with the Ball Blue Book’s “Zesty Salsa,” but I just couldn’t bring myself to use the 7 1/2 c. of peppers that they recommend. Also, since Jilly and I often find that homemade salsa has a weirdly vegetable-ish quality, I ran this through the food processor. The end result is not unlike a thick gazpacho without the cucumbers. Not bad, actually.

Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa

About 6 pounds of tomatoes, skins removed (~ 10 c.)
About 2 pounds of sweet peppers, seeds removed (~5 c.)
About 1 c. mildly hot peppers, like jalapenos or hot wax peppers, seeds removed
2 large onions, cut into large pieces
3 cloves garlic
1 c. cilantro, thick stems removed
1 T. salt
1 1/4 c. cider vinegar (5% acidity)

1) Throw all the vegetables in a food processes and whir them briefly. Don’t let them go too long or it will become a paste or puree.

2) Transfer the vegetables to a large pan and add the salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, bring a large pot filled with water to boil for a canning bath, sterilize your jars, and heat some lids (this made 5 pints for me). Pack hot salsa into hot jars. Run a spatula around the edges to remove air bubbles and add more if necessary, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Adjust lids.

4) Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath.

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7 comments to Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa

  • very nice Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa

  • Susan Ross

    Can you freeze this after cooking?

  • dorisandjilly

    @Susan: I’ve never tried, but I would think that the texture would be disappointing. It’s more like a canned salad than a sauce.

  • Jan

    For goodness sake! Chop it by hand! Use 1 1/2 lbs. jalapeno
    peppers, like the recipe in Blue Book says. Only 2 T
    cilantro, not a cup. Only thing I changed was to add 6 T
    sugar, otherwise it’s too acidy. Then put in 3 6 oz. cans
    of tomato paste or it’s too runny. Great thick and
    chunky. Have won at state fair with it and sell to repeat
    customers yearly for $6 a pint. It is not hot unless you
    put crushed red pepper in it. I call med. 2T and hot 4T

  • anne

    is this the same salsa we made at your tomato canning class this summer? by the way – i bought a pressure canner bc of that class and love it!

  • dorisandjilly

    Anne: Why yes, it is! Hope you like it. How are your adventures in pressure canning going?

  • Last year we grew a assortment of different peppers in pots on the rear porch. I observed that if you want peppers that look like the kind that you would purchase, you need to keep the leaves lush so they cover the peppers as the ones that get too much sunlight turn a odd color. I thought they looked festive and they had no difference in taste.