When my family lived in Texas, during the late 70’s, we were introduced to salsa. (Among many other tex-mex specialities). Since then, the availability in the stores has increased tremendously. Everyone knows about and likes it now. However, having your own recipe is another matter.

For the past 4 years, I have been putting up about 15 – 500ml jars every fall. The recipe has mainly been the same as shown below. Predictably good, medium heat, this salsa can be used for so many different recipes. I have even used it for pizza sauce in a pinch.

Which brings me to the new version that I created this weekend – my Italian hot salsa. Instead of the jalapenos, I went with the same number of Morita chillies. Instead of plain vinegar, I changed it to red wine vinegar. For the cumin, I used reduced balsamic vinegar. Then I rough chopped roasted peppers instead of fresh bell peppers. Cilantro became basil. Finally the sweet onions were replaced with red onion.  So the recipe is kind-of-sort-of-not-really the same. It is kicking hot, but has a really nice flavour.

Fresh vegetable salsa


  • 16  jalapeno peppers
  • 14 cups, chopped tomatoes
  • 2 onions, sweet
  • 2 cups, chopped bell peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 6 dried chipotle peppers
  • 1 tsp cumin


  1. Remove seeds and finely chop jalapeno peppers. Blanch, peel and coarsely chop tomatoes. Measure 14 cups.
  2. Process all fresh vegetables to medium fine dice.
  3. Combine peppers, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, chipotles, cilantro and cumin in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 30 minutes, or until salsa reaches desired consistency. (Or place in slow cooker overnight, and skim off water in the morning)
  4. Fill boiling water canner with water. Add 5 pint mason jars over high heat. Place snap on lids in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften sealing compound.
  5. Ladle salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Remove air bubbles, adjust headspace. Wipe jar rim, add lids and rims to fingertip tight.
  6. Add jars to canner and return to boil with 1 of water over top of lid height. Process 20 minutes. Cool 24 hours. Check seals.
  7. Repeat with next 5 jars to finish the salsa.

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